May 12, 2011

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How to Live a Biblically Balanced Life

This post is by Counseling Pastor Jim Ricci.
Texts: Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
Philippians 4:5a (KJV): “Let all men know your moderation.”

Are you so heavenly minded that you are no earthy good? Are you so earthly minded that you are no heavenly good? If so, then your spiritual life is out of balance.

The road to becoming a healthy person isn’t easy. It’s not the road “more traveled,” but it’s the road “less traveled”! It’s not easy, but it’s more than worth it!

What do you think is the most common New Year’s resolution? That’s right – lose weight! Did it ever occur to you that maybe we have the cart before the horse? Instead of focusing on the negative results of unhealthy practices, perhaps it would be better to focus on the causes of becoming a healthy person? For example: If we had the proper nutrition, adequate rest and regular exercise, we probably wouldn’t have a weight problem in the first place. Losing weight could be seen as the result of practicing the principles which promote highly healthy individuals.

We need to personalize and apply this principle of living a balanced life because, the more specific we are about our destination, the more likely we’ll arrive where we want to go. We’re a work in progress and God isn’t finished with us yet (Eph. 2:10).

To get the most out of these thoughts, you’ll need to set goals and make plans to put this biblical principle into practice in order to live a more healthy and balanced Christian lifestyle. Whom do you trust to define what constitutes a highly healthy individual? While all truth is God’s truth wherever it’s found, the Scripture is the final authority for health and wholeness. Christ is: 1) the Second Adam, 2) the sinless/perfect man and 3) we’re to follow His personal example.

How do you define a healthy individual? What does the Bible say about it? Luke 2:52 says: “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” Jesus grew: 1) psychologically, 2) physically, 3) spiritually and 4) socially. Jesus grew in relation to: 1) Himself, 2) God the Father and 3) others.

Simply put: Healthy people function as God has designed and intended them to function. When is a train the most free, when it is on the tracks or off the tracks?

In the Bible, health is viewed as completeness or wholeness. It’s only when individuals are in good physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual condition that they can be said to be balanced and healthy. Consider the following two rhetorical questions: Can you be mentally, emotionally and socially healthy without being spiritually healthy? Can you function the way God intends without being rightly related to Jesus Christ? No!

The Bible uses several terms to describe a highly healthy person:
1. Jesus is described as the great physician (balm in Gilead) who heals our sin-sick souls (Jer. 8:22; Luke 4:23).
2. Solomon connects our emotion health to our physical health. “A cheerful heart is a good medicine” (Prov. 17:22a). On the other hand, guilt over wrong doing adversely affects our physical, spiritual, relational and emotional health.
3. The apostle John links our overall well-being to our spiritual vitality: “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2). A healthy person results in a healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships with God, himself and others.

The biblical view of health can be summed up in the word blessed. The “blessed life” is described by David in the Psalms (Psalm 1) and Jesus describes the blessed life in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-12).

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