Health and Spirituality
The concept of achieving a higher spiritual awareness is often characterized by meditating more, reading religious writings or attending services at a church, temple, or mosque. While these practices can bring about a more thorough understanding of spiritual matters, it's important to remember that our physical health can also be a reflection of where we are spiritually. That's why it's equally important to ask the question: are physical health and spirituality related in any way?
In the Bible 3 John 1:2 suggests that we should want our physical health and spirituality to be compatible. It's important for the mind, body, and spirit to work together to achieve balance and well-being. While attending church, reading spiritual texts, and even sharing our faith with others can enhance our mental and spiritual health, we should take just as much care of our bodies in order to truly experience wholeness. The Apostle Paul made the following statement, “I discipline my body and bring it under control”. In other words Paul didn't allow his physical desires to control him.
Benefits of Temperance
A spiritual discipline practiced in most religions is "temperance". The concept of being prudent in every aspect of life can have far-reaching benefits. For instance, having a scoop of ice cream after dinner one or two nights a week is fine. However, having a sundae for dessert every night of the week is not a display of temperance, and it could affect your health (and your waistline) in negative ways.
Taking care of your physical health is also a way to honor God. The Bible tells says that,“You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. God paid a very high price to make you his. So honor God with your body”. This sends the message that we value the bodies that He has blessed us with. We want to keep them in great condition. The Bible refers to our bodies as temples. Jewish teaching says that our bodies are the vessels that hold our spirits, where God resides.
Spiritual Health vs Physical Health
Jews also believe in following the diet that is outlined in the Old Testament of the Bible, and many Christians follow this diet plan as well. Hindus and Buddhists also follow a diet that is meant to assist the body in functioning at its best. This means that what we eat and drink, as well as the amount of physical activity we participate in, are very important. We should strive to keep our bodies healthy and strong so that we will be able to carry out good works and be more receptive to spiritual matters.
Simply put, when we practice good spiritual health, we are showing care to the spiritual aspect of ourselves. When we put good physical health into practice, we are extending love and light into our bodies. Both are necessary in order to achieve true health, wholeness, and well-being.