The Way of Wholeness

Philippians 4:5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

When I think of gentleness, I think of a mother’s love. When I was young and would get sick, there was nothing more comforting than to have my mom care for me. If I had a fever or cough, there was the medicine and vick’s vapor rub she would apply. She would continually check on me to see how I was doing, checking my temperature and doting over me with gentle care.

Psalm 18:35 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.”

It is through my mom’s gentle care that I would be restored from sickness, soon I would be back running outside, riding my bicycle and doing kid stuff all over again.

It is through God’s gentle care we are likewise restored.

There are times in our lives where the ravages of sin cause a spiritual sickness to overtake us. We may be healthy physically, but the physical is only part of who we are. When I was sick as a child, it was the physical that my mother was treating. When I am sick with sin, it is my spiritual nature that God is treating.

James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

You see, the ravages of sin if left unchecked, would be our death. Just like ignoring our infirmities might lead to physical death, if we ignore our spiritual condition, the consequences would be catastrophic.

Why do we place so much emphasis on our physical status and yet ignore the spiritual?

The common talk of our society is health and fitness. Hollywood boasts of displaying an image of perfection and yet rottenness of the bones. With the global influence of Covid-19 and quarantine being the solution, everyone seems to be turning to ways they might improve their image or health.

These bodies are corruptible! They will not last…why is there so much drive to preserve them for as long as we can? Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I have witnessed the devastation of cancer, heart disease, or even obesity. The myriad of health issues that ensues when some semblance of proper health is completely ignored is irresponsible. There are those who are content to just subsist at some form of baseline functionality even if all common sense says that to do so would bring harm.

My concern is that we disregard what is eternal to emphasize that which is temporal.

We can help others who struggle with self-control by gently leading them toward greater wellness. The hope is that we maintain the right balance in regards to our entire being and not neglect any critical aspects of who we are.

We are body, mind and spirit.

Our physical status is often but not always dependent on how we treat our bodies, sometimes the circumstances are out of our control and we simply need healing. Our spiritual status is dependent on how much we allow God to rule over our spirit. Salvation is the giving of our spirit into God’s care and uniting with His Spirit in our hearts. There is a wholeness that occurs when this unification of man and God occurs. Our mental status is dependant on who and what we set our minds on. If we continually dwell on evil, if we hate in our hearts or lust continually, the soul becomes corrupted and the spirit and body follow right along. If we subject our bodies to mind-altering drugs, the weakness that follows often opens us up to all forms of demonic attack. We must take care of every aspect of who we are.

Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Just like neglect of the body and spirit leads to death, neglecting our minds leads down a path of destruction as well.

The mind is an aspect of our lives that we tend to mistreat on a continual basis. We may hyper focus on our body image, we may completely neglect the spirit, but the mind, well, we think since no one can actually read or see our minds that its an area we can just let go in any direction we wish.

The illusion is that what we think and dwell on is exclusive to us.

Jeremiah 17:10 “I, the LORD, search the heart; I test the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.”

The dilemma is, that which we dwell on is that which we become. If we allow filth and evil to pervade our thoughts, we will see it manifest in our actions. If we focus on that which is heavenly and good, we will see the qualities of Christ manifest in and through our lives.

There is a common term heard among the state institutions evaluating those ravaged by substance abuse….Mental illness.

I like what was posted recently in Christianity today, “the soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings. But it is also used to express God. As written in Luke 1:46-47, Mary’s Song, “And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

The soul or mind cannot be diseased, not in a tangible way. Since most state institutions don’t recognize our souls, the idea that one could approach “mental illness” effectively with drugs is a losing endeavor. The etiology of mental disease is one that is not well known, what they do know is which drugs to throw at someone to subdue the symptoms.

Psalm 147:3He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.”

If we will only remember who ultimately is our healer, we would consistently run to the Lord and truly be healed. He is our maker and the fact that He conceived us by His own thought, He certainly knows how to restore us who are broken. If we will subject each part of our being into obedience to Christ, the ravages of sin, drugs, or even worldly corruption will begin to be washed white as snow.

When we address body, mind, and spirit….giving every aspect of our lives into the care of the Lord in obedience and trust will see the peaceful fruits of righteousness and the Spirit of God making us into all He intended us to be.

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