Near the top of the list for most Americans is the New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully, as Christian women, our top priority for the New Year is a spiritual assessment of how we can strive to be more Christ-like. Still, healthy eating, exercise, and other lifestyle changes that promote good stewardship of our bodies are worthy pursuits. If you’re looking for ways to improve yourself both spiritually and physically, consider these wise instructions from the Proverbs writer. They are sure to promote good health!
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Science confirms that our emotional state can have a direct effect on our physical health. Perhaps the wisdom of Solomon in this regard falls into the category of scientific foreknowledge. Regardless, his plea to his son is no less relevant for us today. Resolving this year to be more consistent in our Bible study and more determined to internalize His statutes is sure to be beneficial. God’s Word can bring peace to a fearful heart and stillness to a racing mind.
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.” Proverbs 12:18
Scripture pulls no punches when it comes to the difficulty in taming the tongue (James 3). All of us have said things that hurt others. Find ways each day to build others up with your speech. You’re sure to benefit in the process. After all, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)”
“A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
But a faithful ambassador brings health.” Proverbs 13:17
An excellent question to ask ourselves during personal assessment is “What kind of friend am I?” As an ambassador for Christ, am I heralding the good news or keeping it to myself? Am I the hinge that helps open the door to Christ for others? It’s tempting in our relationships with non-Christians to avoid potential conflict in matters of religion. Is my silence keeping them in the dark or acting as approval of their sin? What better gift to give a friend this New Year than to share the Good News that brings ultimate healing.
“A sound heart is life to the body,
but envy is rottenness to the bones.” Proverbs 14:30
In our social-media filled world, we have more insight than ever into the lives of others. Seeing what others are doing naturally lends itself to comparison. Paul tells us in II Corinthians 10 that comparing ourselves to one another is not wise! This comparison can be the catalyst for the green-eyed monster to rear its ugly head. How can I keep envy and comparison at bay? Get busy being salt and light (Matt. 5)! Salt shakers and light houses do not compare themselves with one another. When we’re focused on doing the work of the Lord, our chief comparison ought to be, “How can I be more like Jesus?”
As Christians, we’re commanded to continually grow and change to conform ourselves more to the image of Christ . This New Year, and any time of year, improved Bible study, increased kindness, focused work in the kingdom, and greater concern for the lost is sure to be profitable. After all, it’s good for the body and the soul!
by Kathryn Baker
Kathryn is married to Andy Baker who preaches for the Maud church of Christ in Maud, TX. She stays at home with their 3 children. In her spare time, she enjoys food (both cooking and eating!), gardening, and taking their Boston terrier for walks.