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The Health Benefits of Spirituality

People who are spiritual (who follow the teachings of the Bible) have an advantage over those who don’t when it comes to emotional (soulical) and physical health. I believe that those who follow the teachings of the Bible will be happier and healthier than if they didn’t follow the Word of God. This doesn’t mean we will be completely healthy or totally happy, but it does mean that we will be healthier and happier.

There are many verses in the Bible that demonstrate how our physical and emotional (soulical) health is tied to our spiritual health. Let’s look at a few of these verses:

Proverbs 3:7-8, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy naval, and marrow to thy bones.”

Proverbs 4:20, 22, “My son, attend to my words…For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

Proverbs 14:30, “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

The above verses, among many others, demonstrate that walking in the Spirit has a positive effect on our physical and soulical health.

Medical science is also acknowledging the benefit that a godly lifestyle has on the individual’s soulical and physical health. Several medical studies show a connection between spirituality and a decreased risk of self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, substance abuse, and suicide.

Other studies suggest that those individuals that follow the Bible tend to live longer. God already informed us of this fact in Proverbs 3:16, “Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.” Still other medical studies have demonstrated that those who follow a godly lifestyle are better able to enjoy life despite health issues like chronic pain. In light of the convincing evidence from all these medical studies, a Spirit-filled-life has a beneficial role in regards to our physical and soulical health. We have, once again, the Scriptures and science lining up together and in complete harmony.

Science has also shown that a biblically-based life not only enhances our physical health (body), it has also been shown to strengthen our emotional or mental well-being (soulical health). A Spirit-filled-life tends to help:

#1 Prevent Depression – In a study of more than 92,500 postmenopausal women, those that followed the Bible were 56% more likely to view life positively and 27% less likely to have symptoms of depression than women who didn’t follow the Bible.

#2 Boost Mental Health – In another study, spirituality was significantly linked to better mental health, specifically extroversion and decreased neuroticism. Researchers concluded that a godly lifestyle appears to decrease people’s sense of self in a positive way, leaving them to feel more connected to others.

#3 Buffer Against Daily Stress – Consistent godly living helps people better cope with everyday stress. Godly living was also shown to protect against the negative impact of daily stressors.

Researchers are uncertain (scientifically speaking) how a godly lifestyle bolsters health. We know according to numerous verses in the Bible that God directly influences our health depending on our obedience or lack thereof to His commandments. We also know that a Spirit-filled-life promotes healthier habits, better coping strategies in the face of adverse circumstances, and increased social support through the local church.

The researchers gave recommendations regarding improving our spiritual health. I will list each of their recommendations and then show where God has already commanded us in His Word to have these as part of our life. The recommendations are as follows:

#1 Regularly attending church services – the Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…”

#2 Praying – the Bible says in Psalm 86:3, “Be merciful unto me, O LORD: for I cry unto thee daily.”

#3 Meditating – the Bible says in Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

#4 Reading the Bible – the Bible says in Acts 17:11, “…and searched the scriptures daily…”

#5 Engage in a ministry – the Bible says in Romans 12: 4-8, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us…”

#6 Practicing forgiveness (one study showed that the willingness to forgive others is associated with better mental health. The study demonstrated that people who forgive have less anger, depression and anxiety). – the Bible says in Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

As I have illustrated above, each of their “scientific” recommendations already has a supporting Bible verse demonstrating the same activity. God, in His infinite wisdom, already knew what would make us healthier and happier and He put it in the Bible for us to read and follow.

It is very clear that our soulical and physical health depends greatly on the health of our spirit. As we run into physical and emotional health problems, it would benefit all of us to look at our spiritual life first and make sure it, our spirit, is healthy before we venture into other areas of evaluation and treatment. Other evaluation and treatment may be needed but I believe a lot of problems could be completely or at least partially solved by looking at the condition of our spirit.

Our priority in life should always be the spiritual first followed by the soul then the physical. This order of priority is illustrated for us in I Thessalonians 5:23 where Paul says, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I am not recommending that we neglect the soul and the body but that we put the emphasis where it should be in life and that is on the spirit – our present relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord! If our current relationship with Jesus is biblical then we will give proper attention to all three areas of our existence because we will be walking in the Spirit. This Spirit-filled-life will make us the healthiest and happiest we can be this side of Heaven.

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3 Comments
  1. I need prayer in all areas of my life right now !

  2. Thank you,this was very helpfull for me! Yours In CHRiST Joanne Haapaoja

  3. There is good stuff here. I appreciate a biblical approach to addiction recovery. I write about that approach here: http://www.pressing-forward.net/pressing-forward-blog.

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