Spiritual Health Care

J. D. Conley
September 18, 2016

Most people care deeply about their physical health. They will pay exorbitant health insurance premiums, pay expensive health club membership fees, even hire or consult dieticians and nutritionists, invest in a personal trainer, just to maintain their physical health. The old adage, "If you have your health, you have everything," is believed by the masses. Even if one is out of Christ, as long as they have their physical and mental health, there remains hope for their eventual conversion. However, even if one enjoys robust health, if they're disinterested in their spiritual health, having no inclination to address it, they in one sense, have nothing, (John 15:5, Romans 3:23a)!

The Scriptures are replete with passages that emphasize the dire need for spiritual health care. Paul told Timothy,"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come"(1Timothy 4:8, emph. JDC). Peter wrote, "For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile"(1Peter 3:10, emph. JDC). "Good days," refer to useful and prosperous days. Days where life is "loved," i.e., truly enjoyed, these are spiritually healthy days! These are days that have been chosen to be lived without saying evil things or telling lies.

But acquiring and maintaining spiritual health involves more than just refraining from the bad, it also involves practicing the good. We are to be "doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving [our] own selves"(James 1:22). Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21, emph. JDC).

There are a vast array of things we can all do to maintain our spiritual health. But its not until we take the focus off of self, and turn it on others, that we will enjoy vigorous spiritual health. Let us therefore strive to be benevolent to others, encouraging to ourselves, and evangelistic toward the lost, (Gal.6:10; Jude 20; Mk.16:15). When we fail in these crucial areas, may we confess our sin and repent, and strive to do better. Maintaining our spiritual health will assure us of eternally dwelling with the Great Physician. Then, and only then, will we truly have everything!