“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
During our trips through grocery markets and department stores, we can usually find a large array of items to aid us in our desires for healthier lifestyles. Magazine covers keep us updated on the newest breakthroughs in losing excess weight, food boxes announce less carbs in their products, and soup cans let us know their flavorful broths are healthy choices for our hearts. Clothing departments encourage us with colorful exercise clothing and book sections give us a variety of puzzle books to keep our minds sharp.
The better we care for our bodies and our minds with exercise and healthy eating habits, the greater quality of life we will have. Healthy choices help to fend off aches, pains, illnesses and more.
Taking care of our natural health is important and beneficial. Taking care of our spiritual health has even greater importance and benefits. The Word of God offers great guidance for spiritual health.
What exactly is spiritual health? Different people may describe it in different ways, but an easy definition is simply having a right relationship with God that is connected, maturing and blooming in the ways of our Savior and not settling for stagnation. Just as it is with a person who needs to lose weight or someone who needs to stop a bad habit.
Progress should be evident within and without. The person who continues to eat poorly and makes no effort to change will be no different and no closer to their goals of weight loss 3 months down the road. With no change, they will continue to be the same 6 months, and even a year down the road. This applies spiritually as well. No effort will produce no results of spiritual growth and health.
Jesus doesn’t save us to leave us where we are. Growing in Him is necessary for spiritual, abundant life.
How can we ensure personal growth and health in our spiritual lives?
Be full of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 tells us to “be filled with the Spirit.” The Spirit of God gives us the strength and power to overcome worldly lusts, temptations and other things that cause us to wander from the Lord. The more we allow the Spirit to consume our lives, the more we will bear its fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 tell us what the fruit is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”
Pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing,” which is our constant connection with God. He is always there and hears us when we share our morning commute to work with Him, or when we give thanksgiving to Him for our day, and even when we are overwhelmed and breathing out His name ushers in a moment of peace.
Read the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” We need to recognize ourselves in the Word and allow it to change us when necessary. Jesus wants us to be doers and not just hearers.
Be the hands and feet of Jesus. What does Jesus desire of us? What would He do if he were walking in human form on Earth today? He would pray for the sick, have compassion on the hurting, show love to the outcasts, speak hope to the hopeless and offer salvation to the lost. As the body of Christ, He has put trust in us to carry on His work.
Staying spiritually healthy not only benefits us, but those around us. Let us be sure to exercise our faith daily.