Two Steps to a New You

Health is sometimes defined as the absence of sickness, but I can’t help but challenge that line of thinking. Certain sicknesses can’t be cured, and other times we don’t seem sick, yet don’t feel well, either.Personally, I don’t want the absence of disease to be the best I can hope for in regard to my health. We know we will experience illness in our lives, but can we ever really experience wellness?  I think we can.

There are so many products and businesses marketed for wellness today, leading one to think that we have a good chance at achieving a state of health that will allow us to feel well and be our best. Unfortunately, there are just as many temptations, distractions, and unhealthy options that are perhaps more widely accepted in our culture today. Sometimes it’s even confusing to decide which option is the healthy one! 

I believe we do have the ability to swing our health pendulum in a positive direction. I think there are two critical steps in any health journey that can make all the difference in the world, even in this crazy world we live in.

First, we have to see our health barriers and choose to accept Jesus’ help overcoming them.

Luke 13:10-13 tells about a woman that couldn’t stand up straight for 18 years because of a “spirit of infirmity.” It wasn’t until Jesus freed her from what was literally keeping her down that she was able to glorify God. 

I think we all need the same type of help as this woman, we need to allowJesus to free us from what is holding us back. I struggle with being anxious at times and this causes me to do unhealthy things like allow fear to drive my choices, and comfort myself with food and wine (not Jesus). I can exercise, change my diet, limit my alcohol, but if I don’t acknowledge that anxiety is the root of my bad habits, and ask God to help me with that anxiety, I will continue to struggle. 

What I have personally experienced is every single time I take a step back and look at what’s holding me back in my health, then ask God to help, things alwaysget better. The brownies and wine are still there, but suddenly not so tempting. The things that cause my anxiety are there, but I am better able to cope when I listen to His prompting and follow His lead. Maybe anxiety isn’t your struggle, but it’s important that you think about what is. Once we figure out what’s keeping us from being healthy, we have to give it to Jesus so he can show us how to change it. 

Second, commit to consistent daily, weekly, and monthly habits that make us healthier.

The Bible talks about renewing our minds and new mercies every day, and one essential daily habit to receive these blessings is connecting with God and His word. Beyond that, we should think about developing consistent routines for exercise, nutrition, rest, time with family, fun, and working toward goals. This is how we actually take action to address our barriers and avoid the temptations that will undoubtedly come.

Accepting Jesus’ help to defeat health barriers, and actively planning ahead with God-given strategies are two ways to be rooted while becoming free to do what we were made to do. Being well doesn’t mean looking and feeling perfect, it does mean being capable of doing what we were made to do and inspired to do more than we ever dreamed. Who’s ready to join me in seeking that kind of healthy?

Personal reflection (Reflective Observation Questions 1-2:

1.     Take a look at your health, the good, the bad, and the really needs improvement. What do your struggles have in common?

 

2.     Pray over your struggles and ask God to reveal what’s behind them, and what you can do to overcome them. Write down your thoughts and revelations.

 

3.     Write down one daily, one weekly, and one monthly habit you would like to commit to. Then tell a friend who will hold you accountable to stick with it!

Goal setting and sharing:

 
List 3 goals that you would like to accomplish (at home, at work, with family, etc) that will allow you to be healthier: