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A Harvard study of 7,000 people found that the most isolated people were 3 times more likely to die than those with strong relationships. Reporting on the study, John Ortberg writes that “people who had bad health habits (such as smoking, poor eating habits, or alcohol use) but strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone.” What is true physically is also true spiritually: if we want to maintain a healthy, lifelong walk with Christ, we need community. To stay faithful we must stay connected. That’s why God gave us the church.

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