I care about my health. So, I invest a reasonable amount of time in my life to grocery shop for nutritious foods, cook at home, get at least 7 hours of sleep and some exercise most days of the week, invest time in relationships and hobbies and check in with my doctor every year and when I have a problem. The result of all this is that I have the energy and ability to fulfill my God-given responsibilities and callings and I feel good most of the time. But still, I often wonder and ask myself,
Am I healthy enough?
Most of the time, I ask myself this question after hearing about the thoughts of very health-conscious people in person or in writing. After I hear their thoughts, I realize that there are so many things that I am not doing. For example, I do not:
And when I consider all that I am not doing, I feel overwhelmed because, if I do need to do all those things in order to be healthy, it would require a great deal of energy, time and money. Everything on this list can be a good thing in the right context, and I do many of these things, but not all of them and not exclusively. In fact, if I let it be so, a very big part of my life could easily revolve around this long list of healthy living practices. And even if I did all these things, how would I know when I have done enough?
So, the question remains – “What do I need to do to be healthy enough?” It’s funny that I don’t remember my parents or grandparents asking that question. Perhaps that is because their choices were more limited than mine. But could it be that we have made being “healthy enough” more complicated than it needs to be? Could it be that we have looked to other people, the media and marketers to answer that question?
In my view, the resource called health is no different than the resource called money. God gives us the ability to earn money so we can survive and thrive, help others to survive and thrive, do what He has called us to do and enjoy our journey along the way (1 Timothy 5:8, 1 Timothy 6:17-18, 1 John 3:17, Ephesians 2:10). So, we manage our money (earn, give, save, spend and invest) so we can do these things. Money is simply a tool that allows us to obtain what is needed for ourselves and others and do what we are called to do. But for some, money becomes more than a tool. Instead it becomes something for which it was never intended. It becomes a source of status and security. And when this happens, the goal is to accumulate money rather than to manage and use our money for the purposes that God intended. The focus is on accumulation because the word “enough” is rarely associated with status and security. Therefore, there is never an endpoint or “enough money.” The tool becomes more important than the purpose for which it was intended.
I sometimes see this happen to people with regard to their health. They see their health as more than a tool to help them provide for themselves and their families and do what they are called to do. They see it as a source of status or security. Or as Wallis Simpson (who married Edward VII and became the Duchess of Windsor) once said, “You can’t be too rich or too thin.” The goal becomes to do things to be healthy in order to become ever more healthy rather than to fulfill our God-given responsibilities and callings and enjoy our blessings. There is never a point of being “healthy enough”, but only the pursuit of another thing to do or buy to be more healthy than I am now. Becoming ever more healthy becomes more important than the purpose for which God gave us our health in the first place.
So, am I healthy enough or do I need to continually pursue doing and buying more things to be more healthy than I am now? Where is the endpoint? Consider these questions –
Do my health practices enable me to function effectively, fulfill my God-given responsibilities and callings and bring me some enjoyment along the way? Will my current health practices enhance my ability to do and have these things as I get older?
Do my health practices enable me to help others to function effectively, fulfill their God-given responsibilities and callings and have some enjoyment along the way? Will my current health practices enhance my ability to give these things to others as I get older?
Am I regularly seeing my professional health care provider to assess my health status and discuss any possible problematic issues? Am I successfully managing health issues that my physician and/or loved ones are concerned about because they could have a negative impact on my well being now or in the future?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then there is a good chance that you are “healthy enough.”
If you answered “no” to these questions, then doing more may be wise.
If you have the ability to improve your level of healthy functioning and enjoyment, then it is a good idea to pray for guidance and invest time, energy and money to learn and apply new information and ideas that may help you to improve your health.
If you do not have the ability improve your level of healthy functioning and enjoyment, there is a provision for you and it is called grace. When God calls you to fulfill your calling with any type of health-related weakness, you can pray for healing and relief and also rely on the same promise that He gave to Paul in a similar situation – “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Wherever you are, it is important to remember that your health, like money, is important and should be managed wisely. But, at the end of the day, it is only a tool.
Our health is a tool or resource that God gives us to manage in order to enable ourselves and others to survive and thrive, do what He has called us to do, and enjoy our journey along the way.
If your health enables you to have and do all these things, then you are probably healthy enough!
If you have a question or comment about this blog post or any other information on this website, please click here.
About the author:
Hello! My name is Ginger Hill and I am a Christ follower and a wellness professional. Over the years, I have personally and professionally seen the benefits of healthy living and I have also seen the hardships of struggling to practice good health habits in the midst of a busy and sometimes stressful life. I am passionate about helping myself and others to live a healthy lifestyle and I believe that good health is essential in helping us to do the good works that God has called us to do. Because I am a work in progress, I write these blog posts to encourage myself and I share them with others in the hope that they may be encouraged as well.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
All Contents Copyrighted © Ginger Hill and Good Health for Good Works 2017-2019. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, unless otherwise indicated. You may share this website by any of the following means: 1. Provide a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 2. Quote extracts (with context) from the website with attribution to Ginger Hill and www.goodhealthforgoodworks.org