Holistic Care God's Way
Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to him. May your whole self—spirit, soul, and body—be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. I Thessalonians 5:23 New Century Version (NCV)
There has been a lot of mention of the term holistic care in recent years. It aims to treat the whole person and not just the physical symptoms. However, many forms of holisitic care are not based in Christian truth and therefore they focus on only two parts of man (soul and body) and leave out the third, crucial part- the spirit. And some types of holistic care use elements that originate in eastern religion or the occult, such as yoga, crystals, and certain forms of meditation. Stay far away from practices that are not based in scripture as they will open the door for demonic activity in your life. But, let’s get back to the subject at hand.
As we can see in our scripture reference noted above, God is in favor of proper care of the entire person: spirit, soul, and body. To understand what that means, we must refer to the Word, since it is to be the basis for what we believe and how we live our lives. Let’s look at spirit, soul and body individually and see what we need to do to promote good health in all three areas.
Spirit. This is the part of the born-again person that communicates with God. It is to be the leader in all we do, as it gets its direction from the Holy Spirit. To be healthy spiritually, we must daily feed our spirit man healthy food: the Word of God (Romans 10:17). In addition, we must pray consistently, especially in tongues, because it builds our spirit man (Jude 1:20).
Soul. The soul is the mind, will and emotions of a person. To be healthy in our souls, we must be in the Word, because it renews and transforms our minds into the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2) (I Corinthians 2:16). We also need to honor and revere the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) and we need this to make wise choices and to direct our will according to the will of God. To be emotionally healthy we need to spend daily time in God’s presence, praying and worshipping. In the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11), and His joy gives us strength. (Nehemiah 8:10).
Body. This is the part of a person that we can see. The body connects us with the physical world and is supposed to serve the spirit. The body is needed for us to exist in this earthly realm, therefore God expects us to keep it healthy as well (III John 1:2). We can do this through the well-known practices of good nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient rest. In addition, we should be speaking the Word of God over our physical bodies (Proverbs 4:20-22).
To recap, God wants us to be healthy and whole, spirit, soul and body. To maintain good health holistically, we need to stay in the Word, meditating it and speaking it forth. We need to pray, especially in the Holy Ghost. We need to be in the presence of the Lord in prayer and worship. We need to honor and revere God. We need to follow wisdom in the care of our physical bodies. And I might add that giving to others and walking in love towards others will bring health to us as well.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 (New Living Translation, NLT)
Spirit, soul and body- that is true holistic care, God’s way