I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I feel like this topic can get talked about continually, primarily because it’s about our being. We are all spiritual beings. The part of you that’s alive is your spirit. You are spirit. And there’s a complexity to that in that which is hard to put into words. We humans have tried to define it for several decades, centuries even, especially lately in our information and technology era. But I don’t think we will ever completely and thoroughly define it until we get home to our Heavenly Father.
Although that is the case, there are a lot of things the Bible says about spiritual health and how to maintain it in this life. While we’re living on earth, we try to make sense of absolutely everything, including our spiritual health and how to maintain it. And so, here are my two-cents.
What even is spiritual health?
Our spiritual health is the overarching category that connects every other part of life. Your spiritual health intertwines and directly affects the physical, psychological, and social aspects of your life. I love how this article by AdventHealth put it. They say, “Spiritual wellness acknowledges our search for deeper meaning in life. When we’re spiritually healthy, we feel more connected to not only a higher power, but to those around us. We have more clarity in making everyday choices, and our actions become more consistent with our beliefs and values.”
Often, we try to put our spiritual health into the same category as other areas of life, whereas it involves your whole being, and therefore, every part of life. Your spiritual health doesn’t equate to how much you believe in God and have faith in Him. There are “strong” believers who refuse to obey God’s commands because they don’t feel like it, they don’t agree, or they’re just talk.
Our spiritual health equates to our obedience to God. It’s not a matter of how you feel, look, or think, but your faith paired with action to God’s will. When you seek first His God’s Kingdom, you’ll recognize that the rest will truly get added. It doesn’t mean you’ve reached the top, or capped out in spiritual health, but that you’re in a place of continued transformation in Christ. And there’s always newness and maturity in that place.
Are you spiritually healthy?
One way to find out how spiritually healthy you are is by looking at God’s Word. When you read the Word, it reads you, too. There are many scriptures that can lead us to a better understanding of spiritual health. It won’t specifically say “spiritual health this or that,” but it will talk about our obedience to God’s will.
The more I read the Bible, the more I realize how obeying God’s commands leads to a better life. We often look at it like a laundry list or a book of do’s and don’ts, when in reality, it is life-giving, God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
And this doesn’t depend on your quantity of Bible-reading, as I so often say. Our culture has turned Bible reading into this daily task that so many people beat themselves up over and say, “I need to get better at it.” It’s not that we need to get better at Bible reading. We must learn to obey God’s truth so that we can discern His will, what is good, and acceptable, and perfect.
And this happens one step at a time.
You can be obedient to God about one thing and recognize that you are obedient in many. Meaning, if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself, you are in obedience to His will already (Mark 12:30-31). When you seek first God’s Kingdom and trust that everything else will get added, you are in His will yet again (Matthew 6:33). When you are kind to others, tenderhearted, forgiving, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32), you are in God’s will.
This doesn’t mean we cherry-pick the verses we like or obey only certain parts of the Bible. But it’s a matter of increasing in God’s truth and principles, so that through the Holy Spirit, you can get empowered to steward God’s will and promises over your life.
Your spiritual health equates to your obedience to God. You cannot tamper with the world, conform to it, and then expect to live in the blessings of God. This isn’t a barter and bargain situation, but a commitment of love. You either love the world or you love God (1 John 2:15-17).
How to maintain your spiritual health
In short, obey God’s will for your life, and you will maintain your spiritual health. Embrace the calling He has for you by learning His commands and following them.
One of the most direct passages in the Bible about this is Romans 12. This entire chapter helps us understand how to maintain and increase in spiritual health. Verses 9-21 get so specific that you can break it down into the smallest steps. It says,
-  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
-  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
-  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
-  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
-  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
-  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
-  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
-  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
-  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
-  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
-  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
-  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
-  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Again, this isn’t a laundry list or a bunch of do’s and don’ts. Apostle Paul wrote this to the Roman church because they got caught up in legalism and religiosity in the same way we often do. It’s a matter of pairing faith with action and trusting God, no matter how we feel, look, or think. We can easily get caught up in our feelings, thoughts, and appearance, but when you’re putting faith in God, those things take second and third or fourth place, because He takes priority in your heart.
As you put Him first, He leads you into transformation by the renewal of your mind. He helps you direct your feelings and emotions, to not easily get swayed by them or tossed back and forth. And His light shines through you for everyone to see.
In conclusion, I want to say that as we strive for spiritual health, it’s important to think about your interpretation of it. What does spiritual health mean to you?
In my opinion, it boils down to obedience to God and His will. But I also want to consider the fact that to know what’s healthy, you have to know what’s unhealthy. If it wasn’t for the unhealthy things, you wouldn’t know you’re needing something healthy. Which is why I said, when you read the Bible, it reads you, too.
The Bible helps us understand what is healthy and what’s not. The Holy Spirit leads us into the truth of what’s healthy and what’s not. More and more, we begin to reflect Christ and live according to His will. But in addition to all this, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people who will build you up and be the iron-sharpening-iron type. These people will direct you towards God’s Word and will, and influence the way you maintain your spiritual health.
Like the quote I shared earlier, spiritual health helps us feel more connected to God and to others. We need godly people to help us grow and mature as well. Apostle Paul was no exception as he traveled with companions, lived amongst the congregations, and mentored younger people. Jesus was no exception, as He called twelve disciples, welcomed women and children, and had close relationships with particular people (like Peter, James, and John, or Lazarus and his sisters).
We were made for relationship. With God and people. Read through Romans 12:9-21 again and notice how it involves other people. Get familiar with God’s Word, obey His commands, and ask the Holy Spirit to put the right people in your life continuously, and also to put you in other people’s lives. Because you could be the means of influencing other people’s spiritual health, too.
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