A recent scientific study from the website Quirkology.com found that only 50% of the participants involved in a New Year’s resolution study were confident that they would be able to achieve their personal goals for the upcoming year. Out of that group, men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in some type of goal setting. Women on the other hand were 10% more successful when they made their resolution goals public and were able to get support from friends and family.
These statistics show that there is a higher chance of success when a person is able to have a disticnt and thought out plan of action for goals. God is the ultimate change agent in a person’s life. Paul spoke of this in his letter to the Romans, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2 (NLT)
When we search the Bible for definitions of health, we find that health can best be explained by understanding that our physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of life are all vital.
In 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) it states, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Creating a reasonable schedule that includes exercise, proper diet, and the right amount of rest and relaxation is the key to maintaining positive physical health. Setting realistic and obtainable goals can be difficult and most New Year’s resolutions are defeated because goals are too difficult to meet.
The mind and body are connected on several levels. Depression, stress, and anxiety are mental health conditions that also have physical symptoms. When a person feels troubled emotionally, there are usually physical consequences. In Proverbs 17:22 (NLT), it states, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Emotional health is best improved by focusing on reading the God’s word and coping with our stressors through proper counsel and strategies.
Social health is improved by making a commitment to verbalize with others close to us, having people we can trust for advice and counsel, and having people we can stay accountable to. Finding people that fit these categories can often be a challenge but social support is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Satan’s greatest attacks happen when a person is isolated. Proverbs 18:1 (ESV) reads “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”
The four components of health are all inter-connected. If one area is weak, the others will be affected as well. This is certainly true for spiritual health. Our reliance and faith in God can often be negatively affected when the other three areas are declining. But, during our time of struggle is when our reliance on God is most necessary. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) states, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Being mindful of these four aspects of health will lead to a healthy start to 2011. Beginning with next month’s article, I will look more in-depth into these four areas of health.
Michael Linn, M.Ed., is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is the director of Safe Harbor Christian Counseling of South Central PA with office locations in Chambersburg, Gettysburg, and Carlisle offices. Please visit http://www.safeharbor1.com for more information or call 717-264-0614.