My command in this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
John 15:12-15 (NIV)
As we begin the new year of 2024, we instinctively begin to think of making resolutions. I mean, who hasn’t? I know I have, and still do each year, whether it’s a mental or written list.
But this year, I want to share with you one of the best choices I believe you or I could ever make to have a good life: Having strong relationships in your life.
Dr. Robert Waldinger is the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has tracked the lives of men for 80 years. He loves to share surprising findings about what makes people healthy and happy. One of his discoveries is the importance of the quality of your relationships. He says that the quality of your relationships at age 50 is a better predictor of your future health than your cholesterol levels. And while alcoholism and smoking are top health threats, loneliness ranks nearly as high.
This doesn’t mean you have to have tons of friends—just have some close connections. It could be one or two close relationships.
Let me ask you this: Who would you call in the middle of the night if you were sick or scared? That’s a close relationship. Who can you sit down with and share something you’re worried about? That’s a good relationship. Did you know that when you do this, your body literally calms down, and your blood pressure and stress hormones lower?
Even if you had a terrible childhood, if you have good, healing relationships all through life, you can do well.
Yes, good health stems from strong connections. I pray you have a circle of loved ones around you this new year!
But the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with the Lord Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. He created you to yearn for Him, and when we surrender totally to His will, His Spirit comes in and creates in us a totally new person!
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
When you ask Christ into your life, God then gives you the tools and the desire to love others and to do for others, which, in turn, brings a circle of true friends into your life.
And yes, God heals any of you who are brokenhearted over your sins, your life, or where you are right now. He just wants you to be a part of His family.
I pray with all my heart that each one of you will reach out to others as well as let others reach out to you this year.
Lane Jordan is the best-selling and award-winning author of over ten books. Find her latest fiction book, Evangeline, based on the story of Esther, on Amazon, as well as her books on becoming more organized. She is an international speaker, life coach, Bible teacher for over 30 years, writer, and artist. She has served as Associate Producer for the program In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. You can visit Lane at: www.lanejordanministries.com. She is also on the Pearls of Promise Ministries team. You can find her there at www.pearlsofpromiseministries.com where she is a co-host for the Radio/TV ministry and blog writer.