The choices we make have consequences. We were made in God’s image with a spirit-a body-and a soul (comprised of our mind, our will and our emotions). This means we have the ability to think, to experience the joys and the pain of living; and the freedom to choose between one option or another. But, we give in to our emotions without considering the consequences, get ourselves into compromising situations, and then expect God to keep bailing us out. Some of us blame God for our misery and pain. The thing is…God is not a puppet master who is out to control our every move. That’s the devil’s past time. God desires our devotion and love but will never force us to love Him. He tells us how to be have a life of health, peace and prosperity, suggests that we do it, and gives us the freedom to decide our course.
If we could comprehend that we are God’s marvelous handiwork made for a specific god-given purpose we would not hesitate to surrender all to God. We would seek to know what scripture says about caring for ourselves. We would treasure our life and do whatever it takes to keep it functioning as God intended.
We have a responsibility to God, to our families, and to ourselves to be good stewards of what was put in our charge. The problem is that most of us pay more attention to the maintenance of our cars than we do our bodies. We have become a society of sitters who can’t seem to set our remotes and snacks aside and get off our loungers to take a 20 minute walk. We’ve become flat-screen voyeurs who live through the daily activities of others on reality television; to the detriment of our health. Then we can’t understand why we are always tired and why we always catch every ‘bug’ that is going around. We neglect or abuse what was wonderfully made and then wonder why we are looking like an old worn out leather shoe.
How many illnesses and diseases have been brought on by a compromised immune system; which was worn down because of what we subjected it to? Some of us are dying of Cancer or have lost our ability to breath without an oxygen tank…but we still keep smoking. We’ve heard that Cancer cells are fed by sugar and that Diabetes can be reversed by eliminating sugar from our diets…but we continue to drink and eat sugar-loaded foods. We know that obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure and contributes to heart problems…but we won’t eat healthier foods or exercise. To make matters worse we create unhealthy cells in our children’s bodies by providing them with sugary cereals, sodas and candy- instead of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. We buy them entertainment that keeps them inactive indoors, staring at a screen day in and day out. We do it because we love them and want to make them happy. In our permissiveness we are forming in them a lifestyle of bad habits that may cut their lives short.
The biblical instructions regarding health, maintenance, and recovery from illness involve application of cause-and-effect principles—based on true science—that were given thousands of years before scientists developed the technology that proved that the bible had the answers all along. What the Bible says about health is that those who follow God will generally be healthy. Exodus 15:26 says: “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you”
Which diseases afflicted the Egyptians? Autopsies on Egyptian mummies have revealed evidence of cancer, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, tuberculosis, gallstones, bladder stones, parasitic diseases and smallpox. They suffered many diseases because they did not know God and therefore did not understand the health principles He gave to Moses. This does not necessarily mean that those who don’t follow God will always be sick. Nor does it mean that Christians will be absolutely free of disease. The Bible says, “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2). Even though God is more interested in our spiritual health than our physical well-being, He still wants us to be physically healthy and tells us what we must do to maintain it.
Proverbs 9:10 tells us what we need to make the right decisions that lead to better health. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” What does fear have to do with health? Fearing God, in the biblical sense, does not mean being afraid of Him. It means having a reverential awe of God; a total acknowledgement of all that God is. Those who know God’s nature will trust that what He says in scripture is true and gladly follow His desires. Proverbs 14:26-27 goes on to say “Fear of the Lord leads to life, rest, peace, and contentment; it is the fountain of life; and keeps us safe and secure.” Revering God and everything that He made is the essential ingredient for total (wholeness) health.
The foundational key to physical and mental health is stated in Proverbs 3:1-2, 8: “…do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity . . . this will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones”.
Each of us is on an individual journey that is walked out one decision at a time. Choose wisely.