By CHRIS FIELDS
How your body can (and should) heal itself
God has uniquely designed us to take part in our own healing process. Our bodies were created to heal themselves of most things they encounter. Yet we Christians tend to leave our bodies out of our walk with Christ. We focus on strengthening our spiritual selves: but we neglect the vessel that houses our spiritual selves, our bodies. The stronger the body, the more likely it is to heal itself and resist foreign agents that come against it. Just as, spiritually, the stronger we are in Christ and His Word, the stronger we are in withstanding attacks of the enemy.
It wasn’t until I started to take my relationship with Christ seriously, seeking and following His will for my life and studying His Word, that I began to realize how wonderful the gift of life He gave me twice (the life I was born with and the one He died to give me) was and is.
I began to understand how in His Word, He frequently references blood as His cleansing agent, used to change us from broken to whole and to make us right in His eyes: i.e., the sacrificial blood of a lamb with Abraham and Isaac, blood on the doors of the Israelites in Egypt, and Jesus shedding His blood for my sins to cleanse me of all my unrighteousness.
Then I came to the full understanding of how He created the blood that flows through our physical bodies to go in, weed out and uproot our physical infirmities, a literal cleansing of the indiscretions we commit with our physical bodies. As Christians, we know about the first cleansing, but allow me to elaborate on the latter.
When we improve circulation and blood flow through exercise and proper nutrition, the body our Creator Jesus designed and gives life to (John 1:3-4), is responsible for transporting “life-giving” nutrients and oxygen to cells in our body and removing waste from those cells (sounds like the blood of Jesus, giving us life and removing our old toxic life, right?).
By improving circulation and blood flow, through exercise and proper nutrition, more “life-giving” nutrients and oxygen reach our cells. Exercise increases and stimulates blood flow, and proper nutrition replenishes the “good” nutrients in our bloodstream.
When our body encounters a foreign toxin that may cause us to get sick, our specialized blood cells congregate in the area of the toxin in an attempt to rid the body of that toxin before it causes any major damage. The more improved circulation and blood flow, the faster and more equipped our body will be to handle the toxin.
A lot of us Christians don’t strengthen our bodies as we should, especially in Mississippi — the most obese state in the nation and yet the most Christian. If we are to be an example of Christ and His love, we have to exemplify His love in every way, including with the physical body He created to house His Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).
When we neglect our body by being inactive and having poor nutrition habits, we develop obesity, that is, the condition of being grossly overweight or carrying excessive body fat, which puts us at risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, strokes, heart attacks, various cancers, heart failure and premature death. We can’t carry out God’s will on this earth if we cut our time on this earth short by failing to properly steward our body.
I work for H.E.A.L. Mississippi (Healthy Eating Active Living Mississippi), a nonprofit founded as a faith-based organization, which strives to improve health outcomes in low-income areas across Mississippi, particularly among those with obesity. Obesity has long been one of the world’s top public health concerns, and Mississippi is ground zero in the fight, with now almost 1 out of 2 Mississippians living with obesity and 1 out of 3 living with a condition caused by obesity.
God has uniquely positioned us to educate patients at community health centers throughout Mississippi. We are a Diabetes Prevention Recognized Program and a licensed Diabetes Self-Management Education Program. We also help implement obesity treatment programs at those health centers and at private medical practices.
Romans 12:1 urges us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God. Our service to you and our Father is to allow Him to work through us and teach all how to do just that. Find out more at healmississippi.com.
Chris Fields is the founder and executive director of H.E.A.L. Mississippi and a graduate in kinesiology with advance studies in nutrition. He serves as a clinical exercise physiologist/CPT and is credentialed in Exercise Is Medicine through American College of Sports Medicine.