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A Lesson in Soul Care

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

There are many routines we should have to ensure our health – both physically and mentally. A healthy diet is necessary – and avoiding the things that harm our bodies. Some form of exercise should be routine for us. Routine doctor checkups are great for the early detection of disease, and regular visits for treatments may be necessary. After all, we are created in the image of God and according to 1 Corinthians 6:18, “our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…” If the Holy Spirit lives in us, we need to keep his home “clean & holy”.

Now I realize that some diseases and sicknesses are unavoidable. It may not matter how healthy our diet is or how much we exercise. We are still in our earthly bodies and sickness and disease are part of life.

However, I go back to Proverbs 17:22 – “A cheerful heart is good medicine; but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” The King James Version says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…” We use medicine to treat or alleviate the symptoms of sickness or disease. Therefore, being joyful and full of cheer can alleviate or treat sickness and disease.

“A crushed spirit dries the bones.” Another translation says “a broken spirit saps a person’s strength”. We could also say that being grumpy, pessimistic, resentful, angry, unforgiving, and having other negative attitudes could give us a tendency to succumb to sickness or disease. It has been said that harboring resentment (or any combination of the other negative behaviors) is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies from it.

I know a person that felt she had been wronged by so many people. She had so much unforgiveness and resentment in her heart. She was quick to let you know how bad her life was. How everybody else had the things she could never have. She was so resentful that she did not receive the blessing others had. And her life just was not fair. She also dealt with many physical ailments, lots of infections, many surgeries, multiple hospitalizations, and many medications to alleviate her symptoms. I am not saying all the problems could have been avoided by having a cheerful outlook, but I do believe that her illness was worsened because of the negativity she chose to dwell on.

As I used to tell my kids – there are some things in life you can change, but sometimes the only thing you have control over is your attitude. Only you can choose how you view your life. Let’s make it a good one!

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