Self Improvement…according to Psalm One

by | Mar 22, 2010 | 2010, Musings | 0 comments

The other night I had a late meeting and so I snuck away from the office and had a quick dinner out-by myself. To help entertain me during dinner, I grabbed a magazine to read. It turned out to be fun. The magazine was something called “First for Women.” While I am not too sure I would recommend it (the content wasn’t particularly stimulating), I did chuckle at one of the articles. It was titled, “7 Surprise Perks of Giving Yourself a Break”.

The contention of the article was that we can do some rather fun stuff and in turn those activities will provide us a wide range of benefits. For example, according to that article and Scott Haltzman, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at Brown University, reading magazines for 10 minutes a day will fortify our immune system. He contends that reading articles about other people stimulates the release of “oxytocin” and that this bonding hormone counteracts our stress responses.

A study at the Free University of Brussels encouraged us to sleep in until noon. The premise is that a later start to the day helps make the brain more resistant to the afternoon cyclical slowdowns.

The article went on to report that the scientists at Cornell University are encouraging driving along unfamiliar routes. This activity apparently can increase the size of the brain’s “hippocampus” and that in turn stimulates spatial mapping and the coding of memories.

And my personal favorite comment had to do with the benefit of window-shopping. A professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore says that when we browse we are really making a series of independent decisions. And making those decisions will boost our confidence and improve our ability to make judgments.

So…sleep in tomorrow, take a new road to work, stop for some window shopping and make sure and read some magazines during the day. It will help make a new you!!

I am sure you are as skeptical as I am…

Now, I am all for self improvement within the context of biblical living. Practicing godly character traits, and exhibiting the fruits of the spirit will indeed add purpose and meaning to our lives.

This week take some time to study the contrasts found in Psalm One. Notice that in verses one to three, God lays out a frame work for success: avoid the counsel of the ungodly, give a wide berth to sinners and instead delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it all the time.

It isn’t as easy as sleeping in or as “fun” as window shopping, but I am confident that such behavior lines us up for God’s best, where “…our leaves will not wither and whatsoever we do shall prosper.”


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