Over the weekend I watched several videos produced by Dr. Mark Hyman, a practicing functional medicine doctor. A doctor who practices functional medicine looks for root causes of health issues as opposed to treating conditions or symptoms. Watch the series for a better definition of functional medicine.
The series is called Broke Brain. The summary of the series at this point is that the health of the human gut is directly connected to the health of the human brain. When the gut isn’t healthy the brain isn’t healthy and that brings about an onslaught of issues for the human body. It is a great series and I am definitely only skimming the surface with my description here.
I wanted to write about the series because they (The doctors being interviewed) talk a lot about the interconnectedness of the human person. The connection between the mind, body, spirit, and community. The doctors talk about the importance of all of these areas being healthy for the whole person to be healthy. If any one area is not taken care of it can cause a lot of negative effects in the other areas that are necessary for a complete and healthy person.
For example, If a person does not train their body and only focuses on training their mind and their spirit then that can and will have negative effects on the mind and the spirit. If a person never feels like reading or writing or praying because of an unhealthy body then all areas of the person suffer.
That got me to thinking about the overall health of the church in our country especially in the area of physical and spiritual health. The Broken Brain series says that we are a nation of physically unhealthy people. Like the unhealthiest we have ever been. We have some of the highest rates of depression, anxiety, and heart disease ever recorded. Our food and our inactivity is literally killing our bodies. It seems to me that that dying is killing our spiritual lives as well.
In 1 Timothy 4 Paul says “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” This verse is often used for justification to not take care of the body. I have heard it quoted from time to time. “It’s only of “little” value so I will eat what I want and workout when I want because it is only of little value.” Sounds reasonable. NA, not really! It’s sound lazy to me. The fact that Paul says it is of little value shows that there is importance to it.
It is kind of like the washer fluid in your car. If you neglect filling your washer fluid (or having the guy at the oil change shop fill it) you may be fine for a while. But then that day is going to come when your windshield is covered in dust, dirt, bugs, or bird poo from parking under a tree. On that day neglecting your wiper fluid will literally shut your car down. You can’t see. You can’t go.
Such is the same with the human body. You may be able to neglect it for a time. But the day will come where that neglect will literally shut you down. It may be limited mobility, lack of energy, hospitalization, or something else that shuts down your body but it is bound to happen. When that happens then your pursuit of godliness is also hindered too.
As Paul says in verse 4 “…godliness is profitable for all things.” Our pursuit in this life is godliness and we must be healthy in all areas that make up the person. I wonder if the overall health of the church is suffering because of the poor health of the human body?
Just my thoughts for the day. What do you think? I would love to hear from you.