While the ultimate telos of reading the Bible is to hear and know the voice of God, there are many aspects of life that seem to come in alignment when we begin to make it a priority. In a recent study conducted by the popular YouVersion Bible app, surveyors found that those who read the Bible regularly have one key difference between those who don't.
The YouVersion team surveyed the app's users who regularly read the Bible on their mobile phones or tablets. Then, they compared their results to a recent survey of everyday Americans who participated in a study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA).
The APA study was called "Stress in America," and it posed questions about general levels of stress as well as specific stress-related situations. The YouVersion team discovered that those who participated in their stress survey tend to experience significantly less stress than those in the APA study.
Here is the YouVersion press release:
"The APA survey reports 59 percent of its respondents say terrorism is a very or somewhat significant source of stress. In contrast, 18 percent of Bible App survey respondents say terrorism is the current event that causes them the most stress."
"Similarly, the APA survey showed 57 percent of people say the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, while 16 percent of YouVersion respondents say the national political climate is the current event that causes them the most stress. […]"
"In the YouVersion study, 30 percent of respondents say that reading Scripture before a stressful event occurs helps them best deal with stress, and 41 percent say reading Scripture in the moment best helps them find relief. And when they turn to Scripture to deal with stress, 47 percent first look at the Bible App’s Verse of the Day. Others first look up their favorite verses from memory (45 percent), resume reading where they last left off in the Bible (45), or search for a YouVersion Bible Plan (40 percent) to deal with stress."
According to Faith Wire, the creator of YouVersion Bobby Gruenewald said that the tests results were not surprising to him. He said that the "Bible withstands the test of time" and can give direction and clarity to everyday situations.
He said, "People are opening and engaging with it throughout the course of their life, no matter where they find themselves. We're thankful to offer access- anytime, anywhere- to this source of timeless wisdom."
Of course, we do not read the Bible solely for the purpose of reducing stress. However, we do serve the Author of Peace, and as we get to know His voice, our worries begin to bow to His glory.
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