In this week’s edition of Monday Minute, Muriel shares 7 habits of spiritually healthy people and 4 pertinent proverbs that provide practical application for us all.
7 Habits of Spiritually Healthy People
by Muriel Gregory
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.”
1Timothy 4:8 NLT
From workouts to diets, skincare to vitamins, our culture is fascinated with self-care. The top pins on Pinterest are about looking our best and recipes. Beauty, fashion, and fitness are among the most popular blog topics. Unfortunately, our outward-focused society can undermine the benefits of inward focus. Neglecting your spiritual health will have negative consequences.
Stress can lead to sleep disturbance, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, colds, and high blood pressure, to name a few. Madhukar H. Trivedi, M.D., wrote, “physical symptoms are common in depression, and, in fact, vague aches and pain are often the presenting symptoms of depression. These symptoms include chronic joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness, sleep disturbances, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite changes.”
Truth be told, you do not need to do a google search to know this is true. A simple scroll through the book of Proverbs will give you the same information.
Of all the advice Paul gave his protégé Timothy, one stood out to me; “physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NLT
We discipline ourselves to strict diets and we train ourselves to run marathons, yet neglect to prepare for godliness. Let’s change that.
Here are 7 Suggested Habits of Spiritually Healthy People
1. Be Humble.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” The wisdom of C.S. Lewis has helped me practice humility. Thinking of myself less has removed the stress of performance, the need to impress others and strive to outdo somebody else. When my focus is God and God alone, I feel at peace.
2. Be thankful and content.
Happiness is not in the wanting but in the surrendering. Thankfulness breeds contentment, which in turn leads to more thankfulness. When we practice gratitude, we focus on what we have versus what we want. Consumerism will lead you to believe that you do not have enough when the reality is that we are affluent people. Our basic needs are met and most of our wants covered. Being thankful is not just right for your soul, it is excellent for your checkbook as well.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Proverbs 17:22 NLT
3. Practice self-control.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this one. Self-control is necessary for good health. It will prevent you from eating another cookie or the whole bag of chips. It will alleviate the urge to spend hours on Facebook or Pinterest. So how do you practice self-control? Paul’s advice can help you with that;
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
4. Be kind and gentle.
Put on those qualities before deciding on your outfit. And pray for those to be evident in your life. Too seldom do we pray to be kind and gentle. Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others. Billy Graham defined gentleness as “sensitive regard for others and is careful never to be unfeeling for the rights of others.”
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 ESV
5. Pursue joy.
Joy is not a manufactured emotion. Pure happiness is not found when the stars are perfectly aligned, and you just had the best day of your life. Joy is a manifestation of the Spirit inside of you. Turn your focus to what brings God pleasure, and joy will manifest in your heart.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10 ESV
6. Find peace.
Peace is not the absence of chaos and suffering. It is best found in the midst of them. Bring all your worries to God, follow His ways, and His peace will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.’”
Jeremiah 6:16 NLT
Love first, love second, love always. Love boldly and with all abandonment. Love without prejudice or borders. Love because He first loves you (1 John 4:19). Love because it is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-39). Love because everything is meaningless without love (1 Corinthians 13).
This list is not exclusive, but a good starting point in our spiritual health journey. Maybe you have additional ideas or practices that have worked for you. Be sure to share them with us in the comments below.
Lord, I thank you for your love and your guidance. I am amazed at how you care about every aspect of my life. I pray that your light will continue to guide my path as I strive to become a spiritually healthy person. Amen.
Verses to Ponder
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)
My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
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