There's a relationship between religion, good health

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A better title might be The Gospel of Good Health. Because God is a God of love, He cares about your health. About my health. There are many texts in the Bible showing this to be true. A few of these will be quoted.

For example, after He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, He made this promise, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26.

Then there is this verse, “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

In the New Testament are these verses, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor.10:31 and “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be

in health, even as thy soul prospers. ” 3 John 2.

In this country there is a huge burden of poor health and chronic diseases. In 2005 Tommy Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin for 14 years and then President George W. Bush’s first Health and Human Services secretary made this statement, “Seven out of 10 deaths in the

past year were caused by lifestyle diseases.” He went on to state that the U.S. health system was going broke and could self-destruct by 2013. Although it now appears the health system will not go broke, the burden of disease has not lessened since he made his remarks.

There is significant hand-wringing over the fact that although there is a huge volume of information out there telling what folks can do to prevent disease, far too many people are disregarding this information.

There are two areas where a person’s religion could play a role in changing this dismal picture. Here are three texts that speak to that issue. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy

Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Cor.6:19,20. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God

dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.” 1 Cor.3:16, 17. And “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,

acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” Rom.12:1

In essence these texts show us that God considers our bodies His temple. That He expects us to take care of our bodies. If we have fallen in love with Him — with Jesus — won’t we want to do what He

expects? Would we be stretching these verses if we say that a person who drops dead at age 45 from a heart attack has robbed God of 35 to 40 years of service for Him. And this is to say nothing of the family

he may have left behind.

There is another factor that needs to be looked at. Jesus said, “without me ye can do nothing” John 15:5. Since we know that billions of people do all kinds of things without knowing anything about Jesus or God, it is obvious that Jesus was talking about spiritual things.

The apostle Paul triumphantly declared, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

So the Gospel of Good Health tells us that:

  1. God expects us to take care of our bodies.
  2. We can’t do it on our own. Just think of the New Year’s resolutions that don’t last very long.
  3. Jesus — and the Holy Spirit — will give us the power to overcome.

So when a person is struggling with a bad habit or temptation, he can offer a prayer for power from on high-from God-for victory.

Many people have experienced the benefits of the Gospel of Good Health, and you can too.

Don Casebolt, MD, wrote this column in consultation with Pastor Jeff Kinne, senior pastor of the Village Seventh-day Adventist Church in College Place.

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