“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
The hard-driving, powerful executive who’s in charge at all times is one of the most common images of success in the modern world. There is no end to the books and videos that are designed to help people rise above those around them by gaining power.
Power-motivated people tend to get into stressful situations. Research shows that as they create stress for those around them in their drive for power, they may be doing more harm to themselves. Research has repeatedly shown that stress lowers the body’s immunity to disease. Other studies have linked stress to serious health problems and early death.
In one study, researchers classified test subjects into those who are motivated by close relationships with other people and those who are motivated by power. Both groups showed lower immunity during times of stress, as expected. However, the power motivated subjects consistently showed a much greater decrease in their immunity as a result of stress.
The world values those hard-driving people who gain power over others. But research on stress consistently shows one way in which these people are in truth not very successful in the true business of life. It appears that a life of selfless service to others in the name of Christ not only benefits the kingdom of heaven, it also benefits humble servants in their lives right here on earth!
Notes: P. Taulbee. 1983. “Study Shows Stress Decreases Immunity.” Science News, July 2, p. 7.
Photo: Marble bust of the Roman Emperor Decius from the Capitoline Museum. Portrait "conveys an impression of anxiety and weariness, as of a man shouldering heavy [state] responsibilities. Courtesy of Mary Harrsh. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
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