Thaddeus Baklinski reported on the work of a group of professors at Grove City College. Evidently, they have found a clear relationship between active participation in church and the development of positive character traits, particularly self-control.
The research, conducted by Drs. Horton, Seybold and Welton, (all professors in psychology), discovered that personal faith combined with belonging to a church was vastly more beneficial in dealing with stressful life events than simply having a vague personal belief.
The professors preface their report by commenting on the claims by the atheist, Richard Dawkins, who wants to believe that religious people are not more moral. The researchers found that this claim was quite wrong.
When explaining the results of their research, the professors said, “The benefits of religion for character development seem most likely to come from participation in a community and commitment to a belief system rather than a generalised spirituality. This is because a belief system and community result in expectations for behaviour, whereas a general feeling of religiosity does not.”
The researchers noted that those with an active faith, lived out in a faith community, generally exhibited an increase in humility, healthy behaviour, honesty, and a work ethic, all of which required self control. Self control, they discovered, was encouraged by an active faith.
So, being actively involved in a faithful, vibrant church helps grow resilience, self-control and character. Interesting eh?