North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Over the course of many years we all develop habits that we would like to change at some point. “Old habits tend to die hard” as the old adage goes. Acquiring positive lifestyle behaviors will lead to better health. This has been proven through research. Attaining wellness and well-being requires a continuous effort and one that can begin for anybody at any time. Let’s put wellness education in perspective. Wellness involves primarily seven dimensions: 1) Emotional, 2) Social, 3) Intellectual, 4) Physical, 5) Spiritual, 6) Environmental, and 7) Occupational. When it comes to wellness we tend to think of the physical first, and exercise is powerfully important. But a person that doesn’t give attention to all parts of wellness, will go through life only at half-throttle. The sooner you implement a healthy lifestyle program, the greater the health benefits and quality of life will be for you. Most importantly, this includes the spiritual dimension.

A person can repent of their sins and accept God’s gift of eternal life at any point. However, it’s beneficial for one to accept Christ early in life for the benefits of peace, joy, and power can be experienced and enjoyed throughout their lifetime. In fact, doesn’t the Bible say, “Today is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2)? A person does not have true peace until the Prince of Peace (Christ) has come and set up residence in their heart. Watching a sunset is considered peaceful for some, even spiritual. I’ve enjoyed many a twilight afternoon in my day. The serene sounds of nature and the color of the sky let me know this world had a “master designer”. This is only a taste of what peace is about. It is the presence of Christ in one’s heart that delivers peace amidst all evil, amidst all circumstances, and among all people.

This is not meant to be a lesson in Wellness 101, but it is important that you know all dimensions are interrelated; one dimension frequently affects others. For example, a person who is “emotionally down” often has a low desire to exercise (physical), study (intellectual), hang out with friends (social), or in extreme cases, attend church (spiritual). A person, who remains in a depressed state long enough, is more susceptible to illness and disease. Of course there are always exceptions to some of these. Spiritual health provides a unifying power that integrates the other dimensions of wellness. From a Christian’s perspective, one might say that it is your level of spirituality that can dictate the quality of your entire life, including your health, mental state, and longevity.

Basic characteristics of spiritual people include a sense of meaning and direction in life, a relationship to a higher being (God), freedom, prayer, faith, love, peace, joy, fulfillment, and helping others. Although not everyone claims an affiliation with a certain denomination, various surveys indicate more than 90% of the U.S. population believes in God. But just believing in God is not enough to secure salvation and favor from our heavenly Father. It takes a believing commitment. An acceptance of His Son, Jesus as paying your sin debt on the cross (Heb. 12:2).

A health strategy that uses psychology and religion is a prescription of prayer, faith, and positive thinking. Many physicians will tell you that most people become ill because of the influence of improper mental states on their emotional and physical make-up. Show me a person with resentment, hate, ill-will, jealousy, and vindictiveness and I’ll show you a person who is a prime candidate for high blood pressure and heart disease. And cardio (heart) disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. And yet, people still think that when the Bible tells you not to hate or to get angry, it is giving theoretical advice. So, what can we do to practice this mixture of faith and prayer? The answers are found in God’s Word. When the Bible says not to hate or to get angry, this is not theoretical advice. The Bible is the greatest book of wisdom. It is filled with personal and practical advice on living and on health. It’s true that anger, resentment, and guilt make you sick, which proves once again that the most up-to-date book on personal wellness is the Holy Bible. Consult this good book daily, more than you do now. And while doing so, you will not only discover what is wrong with you, but how to correct it. Try to maintain balance in life (family, friends, work, and leisure time). One way to help you do this is by finding a church, attending faithfully, and following God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.
Posted by on Jan 15 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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