Christianity and Your Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Most often when we think of health, we usually do so from a selfish perspective. We think of health as merely taking care of ourselves so that we can feel better. By feeling better we can get to do the things that we want to do. Whilst all this is true if we look at the bigger picture, we can see that being in good health is just as much of a benefit to others as it is to us. More importantly, being in good health will benefit our faith in Christ.
Before Christ ascended into heaven, He issued the Great Commission, for us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). This means that our primary goal as children of God is to spread His Word and to help others understand the joys to be experienced from a relationship with Him. This can be done most effectively when we are healthy and here is how.
In 1st Corinthians 6:20 we are charged to honor God with our bodies which belong to Him. If someone gave you a beautiful and rare piece of religious art and asked you to take care of it, you would do so would you not? Being good stewards of the physical vessel means we must not only be mindful of what we put into our bodies as both food and drink but must make the conscious effort to bring glory to God with whatever we eat or drink (1st Cor. 10:31).
Regular, moderate, and intense physical activity – such as walking or running, has significant benefits for health, as does refraining from smoking and excess alcohol consumption.
According to Sigmund Freud, mental health is the ability to work and to love. Two factors that hinder us from doing these two things are stress and fear – neither of which comes from God. Christ desires that through Him, we shall not live in fear or have a need to worry. He has given us the promises to never leave nor forsake us and His Word reminds us that He is always working towards what is best for us. A sure way to great mental health is through prayer where we can bring our cares to Him and He will, in turn, give us His peace.
Humans are social creators which is why solitary confinement is used as punishment in prisons. We need positive social interactions with others to function at our best. Fellowshipping with your church family, volunteering in your community, and going for walks in the park or visiting Christian art museums with friends are all ways to do this. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:24 that gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. If we are to treat others the way we want to be treated then our social health will be improved by improving the social health of others.
If for whatever reason you find yourself in ill-health, remember to be strong in the promise of God given in Jeremiah 33:6 “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”
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This photo is provided courtesy of Rana Tarakji, the guest post author.