To say that faith or spirituality or that practicing a religion will have an impact on your health is oversimplifying things. In fact, it’s missing the point altogether. The real point is getting to know God and His qualities and experiencing His love. Let me explain.
Reading Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper, is reminding me why I have been doing what I’ve done for the last few years. For me, my vocational life has been sharing about God’s nature with others, in writing and speaking, using the connection between faith and health as a vehicle. Chapter six of Piper’s book is titled The Goal of Life- Gladly Making Others Glad in God.
Reflecting on many of my blog entries and articles I realize that I have not emphasized the value of the relationship with God as much as is warranted. True, I have written an article recently titled, It’s About the Relationship and what I wrote about begins to get at the essence of the Christian faith and it’s impact on health… but I recognize I need to write and speak more frequently from this perspective.
In the Christian faith we get to know the one true God through believing in Jesus and accepting Him into our heart. You see, when we accept Jesus into our heart, God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. We have God living inside us. His Spirit enables us to understand Him better and better as we read the Bible more and more. The more we recognize that we are in His presence, the more hope and power and strength we have for everyday living. As we live more and more according to the principles found in His Word, the Bible, and as we understand his nature more and more, we slowly become more like Jesus. This results in the fruits of the spirit addressed in Galatians 5: 22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
It is the intimate relationship with God accompanied with the resulting fruits of the Spirit that impact on us in such a way that will likely promote emotional and physical health. It all flows from knowing God and experiencing His mighty love. It’s being “glad in God” that promotes good health. It’s being personally “glad in God” that motivates me to share this message with you. Ultimately, this is what honors God and makes him happy … that people attribute their gladness to Him and His love.
All this said, I challenge you, as John Piper does in his book, to not waste your life. If you’re experiencing the gladness that comes from knowing God and being in relationship with Him, share it with others! On the other hand, if you are not experiencing His gladness, begin to get to know Him through His one and only Son, Jesus. A good starting point is by reading the book of John. Or, you could also read this invitation to accept Jesus in your heart.