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Optimism and Your Brain 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Optimism and Your Brain

Recent studies reveal that a certain personality disposition may be, in fact, a defect in the brain. The evidence suggests that the apostle Paul may have suffered from it.

At a Glance

We can't say too much about this upfront without giving it all away. Let's just say that this material begins with a study published last year in Nature Neuroscience. It's a study that takes a look at how we approach or handle life experiences when they come our way.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel text, see "Build a Bridge and Get Over It," June 8, 1997, at

"So we do not lose heart," the apostle Paul famously wrote to the Corinthians. This came at the conclusion of a passage in which he summarized the troubles he and his coworkers had faced: "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus ..." (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

All of that, and they do not lose heart? An unbiased reader might conclude that Paul's brain was addled, and recent research suggests that such a conclusion might not be...

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