Last Friday we all woke up to the news that President Trump and the first lady had contracted the carnivorous. Before the surprise subsided, the nation and news media were shocked to see Marine One whisk him off to Walter Reed Medical Center for treatment.
While the health of the President is of great concern to the nation and the world, all of us have been made more aware and health-conscious in recent months.
With the intrusion of COVID-19 into our lives we’re constantly reminded to follow the recommended health protocols. Frequent hand washing. Social distancing. Wearing masks. Covering coughs and sneezes. Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. And monitoring your health daily.
Since our body is the temple of God and we ought to be respectful of other people, following these guidelines to the best of our ability is the right thing to do.
Old Testament laws and ordinances were very detailed regarding eating and healthy practices. Daniel was mindful of his health and “resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank” (Dan. 1:8).
The New Testament, though not as specific in terms of health statues, does remind us that our “body belongs to the Lord” (1 Cor 6:13) And that the Holy Spirit dwells in us (2 Tim. 1:14). The principle of stewardship suggests that we take care of the physical vessel the Lord has given us.
Paul acknowledged that “bodily training is of some value” (1 Tim. 4:8). And John wrote to Gaius saying, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” ( I Jn. 2-3).
However, good health goes beyond physical fitness or remaining free from disease. Connected with our physical health is also mental health. Emotional health. And spiritual health.
The wise man reminds us that “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones” (Prov. 15:30). Disposition is important to our overall well being. Harvard Medical School published a finding that an optimistic attitude contributes positively to one’s physical health. In fact, “humor is good medicine.” They conclude that optimism produces “behavioral advantages” and “biological benefits.”
Mental health is improved by thinking the right kind of thoughts. The Bible instructs us to think on things that are true. Honorable. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. And praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). In doing so, we can fulfill the command “to gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet. 1:13). This simply means to discipline your thinking.
Healthy thinking is looking at life in a balanced way. Developing a proper perspective. Focusing on the good. Being thankful. And employing discernment.
Indeed our thinking and our feelings impact us physically. As Jerry Augustine succinctly expressed it, “The body manifests what the mind harbors.”
But what about your spiritual health?
Too often the health of the soul is overlooked and forgotten. Mankind is a composite of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. To ignore the spiritual element is to do so at your own peril. Research has shown that there are physical, mental and emotional benefits connected to one’s spiritual well-being.
A stronger immune system, a lower risk of depression, reduced stress, lower blood pressure and more restful sleep have all been connected to a healthy spiritual life.
John’s prayer for Gaius was that his physical health and material prosperity be equal to that of his soul. What would your life look like if your physical health was based on your spiritual health?
Spiritual health is only achieved when we come to the great Physician for healing. Faith, Hope and Love are the vitamins for the soul. When they are supplemented by prayer, worship, fellowship, and Bible study and then exercised in our ministry, we will be spiritually healthy.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman