By CHRIS FIELDS
What if salvation wasn’t free? What if there was a copay every time we got on our knees to pray for forgiveness? What if the consequences of even unintentional disobedience placed your salvation in severe jeopardy, and the more you unintentionally disobeyed, the harsher the consequence?
Say we have no idea that the disobedience exists, but we are reaping consequences that are only getting worse, leaving us no choice but to finally go to Jesus. When we come to Him, He tells us He can remove all our consequences and fully restore us, but the monetary price we must pay for restoration is exorbitantly high. Now our forgiveness is contingent on how financially responsible we are or the type of money we make on our jobs. Jobs are of course tied to our education levels.
Say we aren’t as educated, so our jobs don’t pay as well, and Jesus gives us a monetary price we have no ability to pay. What are we left to do? Our salvation is lost without Jesus’ forgiveness.
Now enter the U.S. healthcare system, where monetary value trumps human life and health. Everything we do within the U.S. healthcare system is tied to a dollar amount, and the unhealthier we are, the more it costs either us or someone else. Our ability to pay for our health dictates our quality of life — but it’s not our health we are paying for. It’s our ability to be forgiven of our mistakes or the mistakes of someone else. That’s what we are paying for.
When we start doing business with the U.S. healthcare system, it’s normally because we’re experiencing signs and symptoms of a disease we got from someone else (communicable disease), i.e., COVID-19; or a disease we are genetically and/or behaviorally susceptible to (non-communicable disease), i.e., cardiometabolic diseases, heart disease.
Certain non-communicable diseases, known as chronic non-communicable diseases, are leading causes of death and disability. These diseases get worse over time if not properly addressed, but the problem with properly addressing these diseases is they can go undetected for years because signs and symptoms appear as normal bodily function. So you continue in unintentional disobedience to how your body was created, and the consequences get worse over time.
Let’s take weight gain for instance. We’ve been told that slowly progressive weight gain is a normal bodily function, right? As we age, our metabolic rate slows, and we consistently gain weight at a slow pace. We have been trained to think this is a normal bodily function — but it is a normal bodily function that can lead you right into a chronic non-communicable disease that will have you doing business the rest of your life with a healthcare system whose “mercy” is contingent on your ability to pay. This slowly progressive weight gain is known as creeping obesity, which leads to a plethora of chronic non-communicable diseases that cluster, one leading to the other.
This new year, as you are making your healthy behavior change resolutions, I urge you make resolutions that will be sustainable for life, and to understand the goal is not just to lose weight but to prevent the onset of or reverse the effects of a chronic non-communicable disease that you may be susceptible to or are already experiencing signs and symptoms of.
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.