Health Ministry: January 2018

Life is a complex web, interconnected in every dimension. When a relationship is out of sorts, we feel out of sorts spiritually as well, or we can’t concentrate at work. If we’re eating fast food in the car between meetings, exercise is the last thing on our minds. Sitting all day at work and all evening in front of the television can lead to lying awake in bed staring at the ceiling.

Model for Healthy Living is a tool for individuals to use to take charge of their own health, and it reflects that true wellness is not just about our bodies but about the interconnectedness of body and spirit in the ways that we live. Here are the seven key dimensions of the Model for Healthy Living.

Faith Life. Faith traditions vary widely, but at the core, a faith life helps us build a relationship with God, our neighbors, and ourselves. This affirms that we are body-and-spirit beings created and loved by God. We can explore a richer faith life and enjoy the benefits this experience will bring to overall wellness.

Medical Care. Doctors have education and experience, but we know ourselves better than any doctor ever will. Even doctors sometimes are the patient. When it comes to medical care, we bring something important to the conversation. We can build a partnership with a health care provider that lets us participate in managing our health care.

Movement. When we consider the way the parts of the body are hinged and rotate and reach in every direction, it’s easy to see that God means for us to move. It’s part of how we celebrate our body-and-spirit connection to God. No matter what our physical activity level is now, we can discover ways to enjoy movement.

Work. We were made to work, and the value of work is intrinsic. We can appreciate the skills, talents and gifts we bring to our work situation, whatever it is, and find meaning for our life through our jobs or volunteer commitments.

Emotional Life. It’s easy to turn to unhealthy habits in response to stress, whether it’s food, mindless television, excessive spending, alcohol or something else. In the moment, we feel better, even though we know it’s bad in the long term. Through understanding our feelings, it’s possible to make changes to manage stress in healthier ways.

Nutrition. Good nutrition builds strong bodies that can lead us to being whole people better connected to God. What we eat matters. Whatever our eating habits are now, we can increase our understanding of how food affects our overall well-being and make food choices with more intention.

Friends and Family. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were the very first relationship. Even God exists in community. Coping with life is sometimes hard, but friends and family make it easier. Giving and receiving support through relationships contributes to our health.

~Excerpts from an article in Church Health Reader written by Rev. G. Scott Morris, MD.