Spiritual health

After a number of minor health problems over the last few months, I have finally got a diagnosis. Apparently I spend too much time at a computer, exercise too little, eat too many unhealthy foods, and drink too little water. All this has caused quite severe pain in my shoulders and neck. At one point in my assessment I was asked to use some muscles to push downwards. It was a bit like being asked to wiggle my ears. I just didn’t know I had muscles there, never mind how to put them into action!

The ‘cure’, apparently is some physiotherapy, some physician-led exercise three times a week – and a new diet! Quite where I’m going to find an extra six hours a week to do all this, I’m not really sure, but I know I must.

It’s a simple application from the physical to the spiritual, isn’t it? Many of us are spiritually weak, perhaps even having forgotten we are supposed to have some spiritual muscles, it being so long since we have used them. Is it any wonder we’re often so vulnerable to temptation?

The ‘cure’, for many of us at least, is a change of diet and some regular exercise. A healthy diet of solid nutrious food through Christian books, tapes and conversation, coupled with spiritual exercise in the corporate worship of God (perhaps at least three times a week is best?), and regular draughts of living water, would do wonders for our spiritual health.

Where will you find the energy and time to do all this? That I can’t tell you. There is no excuse for a Christian to have an unhealthy livestyle. We are to look after our bodies so we can use them for God’s glory. But equally there’s no excuse for spiritually weak Christians.

I hope that if your doctor explained that a lifestyle change was needed for you to stay healthy and do the work you are paid to do, then you’d find the time and energy somehow. Likewise if a pastor, or God Himself, shows you that a spiritual diet and exercise is needed for you to be spiritually health and do the work you are called to do, then I hope you’d find the time and the energy for that too. The work of the kingdom is too important to be left to those with an unhealthy lifestyle – be that spiritual or physical.


  1. Hi Mark,
    Really informative post. I am also suffering from the same problem since many days, and searching for cure. After reading your post, now i got the solution of my problem. You are right that we are spiritually weak, that’s why we are facing such problems. Any ways thanks for the information you had given to me through this post. And would like to read such more informative posts.

  2. You do like analogies don’t you Mark?

    This one (like the DIY and crossing the road examples) is both ill-fitting and clumsy.

    Worse than this, it is fatuous.

    And even worse even than that, some may find it quite hurtful.

    I have not yet forgotten the Medieval madness of your take on the sinfulness of depression! Now thankfully and sesibly withdrawn.

    I’m glad you finally got a diagnosis for your ‘minor health problems’. I and many other people have had diagnoses of a quite different order and parallels with spiritual health are …well, use your imagination.

    John’s wonderful beginning to the Third Epistle comes to mind here.

    You really must think more clearly. There are hints again here of Job’s comforters and I remember you saying you could have ‘listened for hours’ to someone preaching on the Plagues of Egypt!


    No doubt the Massacre of the Innocents or the conquest of Canaan, have you rolling in the isles.

    I really do not think you are either unkind or lacking in compassion. We all operate in different registers from time to time (terraces at Wrexham!) but…

    It may simply be youthful enthusiasm but whatever it is, it shows insensitivity as well as muddled and sloppy thinking.

    Although such thinking is an occupational hazard for many preachers (they do love telling stories!), it really shouldn’t happen.


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