Spiritually Healthy Doesn’t Happen by Accident

By on April 14, 2020   /   Leave a comment

A note from SRS: Maybe some of you can relate to getting knocked over by a large wave at some point in your life. There’s an element of helplessness there. Spiritual health is the difference between surfing and getting bowled over by a wave. Spiritual health is your first priority as a Great Commission worker. It is something you invest in regularly, preparing you for unforeseen events and daily dependence on Jesus. Trying to engage in MPD without this is like trying to surf without a surfboard. It’s our desire at SRS to keep you focused on your first priority through articles like this. 

Adjusting to the constantly shifting new realities of being stuck at home, working from home, doing school from home, shortages at the grocery store, and ever-expanding cancellations of events and activities has been really hard. With every day that passes, our energy is being depleted and we feel tired and discouraged. So, what can we do about this?

We were created as limited people whose energy is constantly being depleted and needs to be restored. To be whole and healthy, we need to care for all of who God created us to be and to be purposeful in doing things that add energy back into our lives. A holistic plan includes caring for our Physical, Relational, Emotional, and Spiritual selves.

Physical – move. Research shows movement, aka exercise, is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. It helps to balance mood and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is one of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck in terms of increasing energy and experiencing more balance. Here are some ideas: go for a walk or run; be outside in the fresh air and sunshine; try a workout through YouTube or some other medium; dance; stretch; if you have kids, set up an obstacle course and do it with them. Be creative and find a way to move every day.

Relational – connect with others. We were created to be in community. It is essential that, in this time of isolation and social distancing, we still find ways to connect with others and experience fellowship. Here are some ideas for connecting: use some sort of video conferencing platform and have virtual dinners, playdates, Bible studies, and worship; go “old school” and send letters to friends and relatives; find ways to have fun with the people in your home. 

Emotional – gratitude. It takes intentionality to see the good moments in the midst of a hard time. Every day, try to notice three good things that happened and speak them out loud to someone else or write them down. These don’t have to be big things but can be moments that made you laugh, smile, or feel relief. 

Spiritual – meditative practices. Remember that we are limited people and we need to connect to the God who is unlimited. Instead of focusing on doing in our relationship with Jesus, we need to focus on simply being with him. This might mean sitting in silence, meditating on the character and promises of God, or practicing the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer is an ancient Christian tradition that combines prayer with the breath. As we breathe in, we say, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” and as we breathe out, “have mercy on me a sinner.” You repeat this at least three times. At any time during the day, when you feel stressed or overwhelmed, you can pause and pray this prayer. 

A few additional thoughts. This is a time where we could be tempted either to work a lot or not at all. It is important to strike a balance between the two. I strongly recommend creating a specific routine with time set aside to work and time set aside not to work, including how you are going to care for yourself in each of these areas. This is the model of healthy living throughout the Bible. Share your plan with a friend who can hold you accountable.

We need to be gracious and kind to ourselves during this time. We might not be very good at coming up with solutions yet. And that’s okay. It’s okay to experiment, to try things and fail, and to not be at 100%. Overall, what matters most is that you are doing things that add energy and not just those that take energy away.


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