On Spiritual Health

At the very foundation of your overall health lies the realization that your life is not about you.

When you relieve yourself of the responsibility of being all-powerful and in charge of all circumstances, you come to a place that has room for emotional health, which in turn gives you the ability to improve intellectual and physical health. It truly does not work the other way around.

Additionally, spiritual health ultimately brings about a focus on others. Once you begin to consider the needs of others to be more important than your own, you experience freedom, peace, and joy that is otherwise elusive.

Since spiritual health is the foundation, then it stands to reason that you must devote your time & energy to maintaining and improving that aspect. Too often, I find, the maintenance of spiritual health gets the leftovers. You must work, your family demands & deserves time, and other responsibilities (yes, even religious responsibilities) must be attended to. While these are true, it is imperative that you build a rhythm that allows for proper focus on your spiritual health. This often requires what I refer to as trading good for better. You spend a good portion of your life rooting out bad and replacing it with good. Eventually, this evolves into trading good for better, and you become even healthier.

I have been clear in my writing that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Imperfect, but desiring to be an imitator of Him ultimately. When I speak of spiritual health, I am concerned with the discipline of learning and following the principles found in the Bible. You may not identify as a follower of Jesus Christ, and I will never make that a condition of our relationship. I believe that if you devote time and energy to your spiritual health, you will ultimately come to that belief. But it is your journey, and I am convinced that your investment in this aspect of your health will pay dividends in your life right now.

There are many disciplines that you can implement to invest in your spiritual health. I will close by identifying a few of those that I find most helpful.

Prayer & Meditation: this frequent time helps you focus outward, seeking guidance and new thoughts that propel you forward. Read, study, and consider thoughtfully.

Intentional Relationships: seek out people that are different; more mature (not necessarily older) to pour into you, less mature to pour into, different beliefs so you can be sharpened, different lifestyles so you can learn how to interact lovingly with fellow humans.

Solitude: this time allows for rest, reflection on the direction of your life and changes that need to be made, and more extended time for prayer & meditation.

Fasting: practice self-control by stretching yourself to do without something (often, but not always, food), giving you the strength to master other disciplines.

Serving: giving of your time, talents, and treasures to put the needs of other people above your own.

Build this foundation, and freedom, peace, and joy are within reach!

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