Here’s yet another post with insight and thoughts captured from my reading of Health Care You Can Live With by Dr. Scott Morris, founder of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The excerpts below are directly from the referenced chapters.
Excerpts From Chapters 12, 13 and 14
The church ought to be helping people approach God without thinking they must have the help of a religious professional in order to do so. God feels you up, not the church, and God is open for business 24 hours a day. That simple shift in thinking can change your experience of God, which then touches every part of your life.
When churches keep people overly busy, they create time constraints that do not encourage exercise, relationships, reflection, nutritious meals, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle to sustain the whole person, not just the religious life.
Pastors are often the most unhealthy people in the church because of the expectations they have for themselves and the expectations their congregations have for them. Being busy does not make you closer to God.
You are the expert on you. It’s your journey to wellness. Understanding messages gone awry can help you keep your eye on the goal of wellness rather than getting sidetracked by things you don’t really believe. While you can’t change everyone around you, you can make your personal choice to pursue health in your own life and to express wellness to others in your life.
90% of women who are morbidly obese have been sexually abused. From their youth they have heard messages that say they are less than valuable and have been shamed into believing that, and the effect shows up in their weight. For them, the real question is not, “How can I lose 100 pounds in the next 90 days?” That would not solve the problem. It would not make them whole.
Dysfunctional family patterns run deep. Relationships profoundly disappoint us. Careers stall or disintegrate. Trauma turns life inside out. Ingrained comforting habits rise to the surface and we take the familiar role even though we know it’s full of potholes. Wellness starts in recognizing and naming the forces that keep us on the familiar role, afraid of taking a turn.
Change begins in meeting yourself where are, admitting what hurts, and deciding to take the turn that only you can take.
Change does not have to be something that happens to you. It can be something you step into and embrace and freely choose.
When it comes to your overall health–your sense of wholeness as a body and spirit being created and loved by God–you can choose change.
Change you choose begins in a moment of awareness that another road exists.
Don’t miss the intersection that can put you on the path to the kind of wellness God has in mind for you. You can choose change. You can choose healthcare you can live with.
Christ shows us God. Christ is God. Through Christ, God gives us new life, so we should step into the new wardrobe that God gives us to wear in this new life.
Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Compassion. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. Patients. Forgiveness. Love. These virtues are the contexts in which real change happens.
If an idea comes up for a new program or service we might offer, our first question at the Church Health Center is, “How does this touch on the virtues?” If we can’t answer that question, we don’t do it
We understand what it means to treat someone else with compassion, but do we understand what it means to treat ourselves with compassion? To treat ourselves with kindness? Humility? Gentleness? Patience? Forgiveness? Love? The inability to treat ourselves with these virtues is a huge obstacle to seeing ourselves as the whole people God wants us to be. It is surprisingly easy to convince ourselves we don’t deserve to treat ourselves the way we hope others would treat us.
We cannot truly be well without the virtues. They are fundamental to understanding how we are connected to God and how God wants us to be connected to each other.
Dr. Morris and his staff recognize the critical importance of attending to the virtues that are listed above. God designed each of us in such a way that when these virtues are present we generally will be more well or more whole than we otherwise would be. A key focus of any church leader, in my opinion, needs to be the development of these virtues in the lives of his or her parishioners. Perhaps more importantly, it’s important that each of us recognize the significance that each of these virtues play in our own lives. We should understand that God desires to be at work in us so that these virtues become a major part of our character.
You have a choice to be honest in your assessment of your health and wholeness. You have a choice whether or not to make a change in your lifestyle if you are not as healthy and whole as God desires you to be.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:15-20
I encourage you to choose wellness, wholeness and life.
Related Resources on
Article – God Wants You Whole
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