bible articles

Holistic living

“Health and freedom are two things you don’t appreciate until they are gone” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US president (1801-1809)

In the health sector today we see a major focus on cure and less attention given to prevention of disease and sickness. In 2005 a fascinating book was written by best selling author Dan Buettner, entitled “The Blue Zones”. The subtitle of the book reads “Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest”. Dan takes his readers on a journey as he examines 4 groups of people who experience longevity and vitality in a unique way. He identifies the Sardinians, the Okinawans, the Costa Ricans, and the Seventh-day Adventists. The last of these 4 stands out as the other 3 are related to a specific ethnical people group. Obviously geography and genes would play a part in the explanation of why these people are generally healthier, and live longer. But what about the Seventh-day Adventists? They are spread all over the world and transcend the barriers of cultures and people groups. Dr. Daniel Giang is quoted in “The Blue Zones” saying; “Adventists believe in the body and the soul as one… We truly believe that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that God communicates to us through our bodies. So the things you do to impair your health are cutting you off from God’s revelation”.

Could it be that a healthy body is connected with a healthy mind and that if you affect one you affect the other? Modern research confirms that this is true while the Bible stated this long before. We do not know a lot about the upbringing of Jesus but Luke reports the following;

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” – Luke 2:52.

Four areas are mentioned: wisdom – intellectual health / stature – physical health / favor with God – spiritual health / favor with men – social and relational health. What a picture of holistic health! This is God’s ideal for each of us. Jesus himself said;

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” – John 10:10.

One of the keys to such an abundant life is communication with God through prayer. Neil Nedley, M.D. studied into the benefits of prayer and writes in his book Proof Positive; “Meditation and prayer have their great benefits when they provide a respite from stressful thoughts and feelings, and an opportunity to find solutions for dealing with life’s most ongoing stressors. In order for such processes to occur, the reasoning powers of the brain must be active during the meditative process. Our highest intellectual powers, including spiritual reasoning, reside in the part of the brain called the frontal lobe. If you were to measure brain activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG) and it shows the beta wave, it would indicate that healthy thinking is occurring, characterized by dynamic frontal lobe activity. Studies show that Christian meditation involves the frontal lobe and beta activity. Not every form of meditation, however, is characterized by beta activity and frontal lobe involvement.”

Maybe it is time for you to reconnect with your maker through prayer and healthy living so you can experience the abundant life.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” – 3rd John 1:2.