The absence of disease in the physical body is most commonly considered as healthiness yet to be truly whole it must be linked with wellness in the other two dimensions of a person (mental and spiritual) if we are to function more nearly as God intended.
A healthy life requires giving attention to body, soul and spirit
We are to care for and respect our physical bodies but our spiritual health is more important. We can go to heaven with a sick body and healthy spirit but we can’t with a healthy body and sick spirit. Countless people put a lot of effort and expense into maintaining an attractive outward appearance, however the Bible emphasises the greater importance of having a healthy spirit (heart) for it is from here character and the outer activities originate (Prov 4:23; Mk 7:20-23). Many people who have so much to offer are robbed of that potential because they do not understand the concept of Biblical wholeness, and the personal responsibility involved. In each aspect of our intricate being, the responsibility is on us to be wise and self-disciplined, by not allowing or indulging in anything that is unbeneficial as there are always consequences.
To be in physical health our bodies require nourishing food in the right quantity. This needs to be accompanied by adequate sleep, periods of rest and relaxation, exercise, hygiene, a good approach to work and a right attitude to others, with a balance in all aspects of life. Sickness is often the result of ignoring one or more of these factors, and so many health problems can be solved by just addressing these areas rather than masking the condition with a handful of toxic pills. Some things have a natural cause and therefore a natural solution, for example a sore neck on waking. This can be ‘healed’ by simply using a different pillow. God has given us brains to use and to apply self-help measures when appropriate.
Our physical bodies are not to be neglected or pampered through indulgence. Up to two billion people throughout the world are drinking polluted water that results in a multitude of health issues and is the cause of some 850,000 deaths yearly. Meanwhile, in the prosperous nations, along with chemicals and pollutants, their more sedentary lifestyles and poor nutritional diets (of processed foods overloaded with salt, fat and sugar) are detrimental to the physical body causing a multitude of diseases.
God honoured Daniel and his friends who thrived on a simple, wholesome diet rather than eating the scrumptious royal food which probably included food forbidden by Jewish law (Dan 1:8-20).
Physical care of our body, and prevention of disorders by not abusing it through destructive habits, is good stewardship of the body which God has given us (1 Cor 6:19,20; Eph 5:28,29; 1 Tim 4:8). God designed the body to restore itself to wellness and as food can either promote or prevent good health we must provide it with what can bring this about.
Be proactive by having regular health checkups (besides ensuring your financial affairs and interpersonal relationships are not neglected).
Our mental and spiritual health are largely influenced by what we expose ourselves to and how we process what enters our heads, with many people suffering poor health, not only because of what they eat, but also what is ‘eating them’ – resentment, un-forgiveness and other destructive attitudes. Consequently, as our thoughts contribute to our overall health, we must forgive and have right heart attitudes, besides knowing “The tongue of the wise brings healing” to relationships and areas of conflict (Prov 12:18, 15:4; Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 10:5; Tit 2:11,12; 1 Pet 3:9).
Whatever we admit into our mind has a way of being outworked in our life so feed it wholesome information and concentrate your efforts on establishing a life of purity and righteousness (Prov 23:7; Hos 10:12; Phil 4:8). Pornography and ungodly material, along with criticism and other destructive influences, implant images and thought patterns that are exceedingly difficult to eradicate. Instead, be like the Psalmist who said “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11; Mt 12:35, 15:11,18-20).
Through the saving grace of God (in the Lord Jesus Christ) our spirit is ‘born again’, and with this new life we are able to commune with God who is Spirit and the only source of spiritual life. Our soul (mind, will and emotions) becomes attuned to the Holy Spirit and can be healed, while destructive influences are released so their consequences do not result in physical ailments. God’s Word is health to a person’s whole body if it is utilized properly. John prayed for Gaius saying, “I pray that you may enjoy good [physical] health even as your soul does” (Prov 4:22; 3 Jn 1:2). The Bible plays a key role in reprogramming our thinking, thus, we must embrace its integrated teachings, applying them to our daily life and not just giving a nod of recognition.
Do not fall into the trap of pursuing wealth at the expense of losing your physical health, sacrificing your spiritual life and destroying your family, then spending that money trying to regain your health!
What do you do to nourish each element?
Even though you may have a testimony of healing, it is better not to have been sick in the first place.