We say living God’s standards is the best option, but is there evidence to back that up?
Here’s some solid evidence you can use in discussions (or for helping affirm your own faith). One disclaimer. This is a heavy article. They are reporting on their own study, “Does Religious Affiliation Protect People’s Well-Being? Evidence from the Great Recession after Correcting for Selection Effects.” I’ll copy some key findings and you can either read the article or save the link for your next appropriate discussion.
Active Christians exhibit greater current life satisfaction and are more likely to report that they are thriving. In addition, active Christians have higher levels of subjective well-being throughout the entire business cycle—not just in booms, but in the busts as well. Our results suggest that religion and religious communities will continue to play a driving role in helping people cope with change by keeping their eyes pointed towards the eternal even as storms surge around them.
Sociologists, psychologists, and public health scholars have previously studied the effects of religious affiliation on well-being, but these studies have been plagued by at least one of two challenges. First, samples in most studies are quite small, largely because running experiments is time-consuming and expensive. Second, the evidence is purely correlational—not causal. So, we tried something different.
Using nearly a decade of data, comprising millions of respondents from Gallup’s U.S. Daily Poll between 2008 and 2017, we explore the potential moderating effect of religion in our recent study, “Does Religious Affiliation Protect People’s Well-Being? Evidence from the Great Recession after Correcting for Selection Effects.”
The beauty of our data-driven approach is that we can compare individuals in a county at one point in time with observationally equivalent individuals in the same county at another point in time. We can then quantify how their reported SWB varies in response to different local economic conditions, which we measure using year-to-year county employment growth over every quarter. Because we can track respondents in the same county over time, our statistical model controls for differences across space—that is, the fact that a person in San Francisco is different in many ways from a person in Dallas.
<Told you it was heavy.>
Active Christians exhibit 6 percent greater current life satisfaction and are 6 percentage points more likely to report that they are thriving.
You can find the entire article here.