For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do,
but I am doing the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
Just as St. Paul struggled with sin, it’s easy for us to become bewildered when it comes to getting healthy. You can read everything I recommend and teach, and be totally convicted that you want to change, but you continue to eat the same things and choose something besides exercise or sleep when it comes right down to making the right decision. If there is one thing I would like to convey, it’s this…
Getting healthy isn’t about giving things up, and it isn’t about deprivation. It’s about changing habits through discipline and intention.
We intentionally pray, study scripture and worship. This strengthens our faith and benefits our soul. What I’ve found is that many people do not feel they are worth the time and effort it takes to change their habits and get serious about their health. Some people don’t have a deep seated conviction that they are worth it, and some may even think that it’s selfish to be concerned about their health.
You have to start with the knowledge that you’re worth it, your family is worth it, and that the work you do and your purpose in life matters.
In fact, your family and your purpose matter so much, that you know you need to be your best self. That will be what drives you. And just like spiritual and emotional health, our physical health is honed with discipline and intention.
But should we be spending time and thought on what benefits our health and our bodies? Do you think you’re worth it? Most importantly, what does God think? Does He think you’re worth taking care of? With all humility I pose this to you…What more evidence do you need than that you are here on this earth right now reading this post? Obviously the very fact that you were born means that God deemed it necessary for you to be here. He gave you a family to love and take care of, most people can say they have been blessed with employment, and we were given bodies to carry out our part in these blessings.
Our bodies are a gift. But they still belong to God. We must be good stewards.
Many people do not consider their bodies as something they were entrusted with, and that they are Holy. After all, we are created in God’s image. Our bodies are baptized with Holy Water, we partake of Holy Communion, and we are anointed with Holy Oil. So what if we walk out of church, and proceed to abuse that which was just blessed? Eating food that was created by man against nature, not resting, resting too much, letting stress run our lives?
This is the premise behind Holistic Christian Life. If you’re new here, you’ll find a community who believes our mind, body, and soul are gifts that belong to God, and we all have the desire to worship God with every fiber of our being. We believe in everything good that He gave us for our health.
Rest – Food – Prayer – The Church – Nature – Friends – Family
Our God is a God of abundance, not of deprivation.
I am in the process of converting to Orthodoxy but left my first church because I have a respiratory disease that was exacerbated by heavy use of incense in an unventilated church to the point that I was having difficulty breathing after services and coughing excessively for several days. For five months, I tried to have a dialogue with the non responsive priest who ultimately told me, after months of silence, that I should either wear a respirator in the sanctuary or consider myself a martyr sacrificing myself for my faith. In addition to the devastating effect on me, I thought going the martyr route would alienate my husband and son from the church, but he said it would deepen their faith. And I thought surely there must be some ethics and theology involved, and I found that experience dehumanizing. We are now driving 1 1/2 hours to attend a difference church with a compassionate priest who happens to have asthma and to go light on the incense. I understand why incense is used but am concerned that inhaling particulate matter is not only very problematic for me but for others. There is some research to support this, including one study done in an Orthodox church. I am trying to be faithful by moving forward since I definitely want to be Orthodox, even knowing the incense problem will be ongoing, but at least now it’s not disrupting the rest of my week. This has been very confusing, and I lose sleep about it. I haven’t wanted to say much to the new priest because I don’t want to bring negativity into that relationship.
Hello Jeannie, Thank you for reaching out to me. This is indeed a subject I have also wondered about since my lungs are not optimal either. I make sure that I sit in an area where I will not be directly incensed, and that the church is large enough that it doesn’t get overpowering…or I will also cough. I am so glad that you were able to find another church…but such a long ways away! Please don’t lose sleep over this. Our God is a God of compassion and understanding. It is often man who does not understand enough to have compassion, and just need to be taught so that they do understand. I would definitely speak to the new priest, as it sounds as though he will be understanding due to his asthma. There are no other churches closer to you? All of this being said, I’m assuming that you are doing things that strengthen your lungs…herbs, etc. If you need more information on this just let me know. I have wondered about the health of breathing incense also. Would you be able to share what you found with me? What it has come down to with me, is that I think of all of the things I willingly do or don’t do that affect my health in a negative way, and accept that whatever the incense is doing is at least blessed and glorifying to God.