There don’t seem to be many things that people agree on these days, but I have recently noticed a general consensus about at least two items: People are recognizing that violence is a growing problem and that smoking truly is a health hazard. Even the US government has come out with programs to oppose them.

A couple of recent surveys show, however, that the government may not be the best place to find answers for these two problems. In a 1993 issue of the Family Research Report, one study indicated that those who attend church regularly smoke less than the general population. Likewise, churchgoing was seen as a key characteristic of violence-free families.

Merely walking through church doors, of course, does not change us. But the truths taught in the church, as well as the encouragement from other God-fearing people, do affect us (1 Th. 5:14-22). We can worship our God, grow in our walk with Him, and surround ourselves with others who love Him. These are great incentives to do what is right.

Attending church does not make us perfect. But following God’s teaching and worshiping the Lord will certainly go a long way toward making us better.