My path and vision for my content is to either share my faith and love of God, or share my passion for wellness and pursuing a truly balanced, holistic lifestyle.
But who says you can’t have both?
Or say that these two passions do not intersect or make sense to pursue together? At first glance, maybe they feel like very different concepts that don’t relate to one another, and choosing to write about both is like pulling myself in two different directions. Let’s take a look at both topics and see how “opposite” faith and wellness actually are.
God’s gift: a bodily temple.
We are all souls inhabiting bodies, and we are so much more than our outer appearance. But right now, this is the form we have taken, and that form has been created in the image of our Father. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,” as Genesis 1:27 famously says.
This body is our home for our spirits to dwell and experience this beautiful world He created. The last thing He wants is for us to neglect what our individual bodies need, including our physical and mental health. How else can we fulfill our purposes and callings as God intended if we don’t recognize the value of our bodies and wellness?
In our faith, we can celebrate the unique ways God has designed us, how unique we are each composed despite the challenges we might face. Even those of us struggling with disability or chronic illness are still just as worthy and loved as anybody else. Perhaps we must overcome obstacles, but so does everybody else.
God has a purpose for all He does, and His goals for each of us never cease. Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” We are born the way we are, and through our faith and the workings of the Holy Spirit, we gain insight into how we utilize the gifts and tools we’re given to serve Him. And one of those crucial tools at our disposal is our body, allowing our minds and souls to pursue those passions and make a lasting impact.
Wellness as a divine privilege.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
We are individuals, but we are each housing God’s spirit. Nurturing our minds, bodies and souls in every capacity should be seen as a list of tasks to complete, but as little ways to thank God for these gifts we possess and ensure they stay strong. Plant-based, nutritious foods provide every cell with the energy it needs to keep our bodies and minds functioning. Exercise strengthens our muscles and calms our minds. Seeking treatments for our ailments keeps us resilient and ensures we’re proactive in combating harsher symptoms of disease. Upholding a daily self-care practice and prioritizing our mental health further keeps us grounded in His Word by instilling peace and balance we need to fully thrive.
Sure, it might seem trendy to hop on every new wellness product and fad out on the market, but the key is to remember why we should care about wellness in the first place. What purpose is wellness serving me? Hopefully, if your intentions are coming from a place of gratitude and faith, wellness is a simple way you’re staying mindful and connected to the greater role you play in His kingdom.
Faith in wellness.
Too often, our mindsets focus on the benefits that come from wellness. Wanting to look or feel or act a certain way, especially if that’s what society is perpetuating as a means of fulfillment and confidence. We can too easily fall down the rabbit hole of seeking wellness until it exudes the exact opposite effect. I see this in becoming overly reliant upon vanity and the personal benefits we might gain if we weigh a certain number on a scale, or we eat within a certain calorie quota, or we exercise however many minutes every day.
Approaching wellness and faith together means we can really understand the relationship we should form with God and our bodies. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Falling into self-destructive patterns of physical and mental abuse keep us from fully loving and appreciating Him. We are chained to fleeting ambitions that, although we hope we find fulfillment, only leave us defeated. That’s because our worth doesn’t come from pounds, inches, calories, sizes, any numbers; we are worthy because God is within us, and the love He has for us is immeasurable.
For so long, my views toward wellness were completely separate from my faith. I pursued those influences of health that were misguided by short-term desires. By reevaluating my mindset to break the boundaries between wellness and faith, I’ve learned how much they affect one another. Pursuing true, long-term wellness allows us to draw closer to God, and in doing so, we find greater meaning in nurturing every aspect of ourselves and appreciating how our minds, bodies and souls intertwine. Wellness then becomes exceptionally rewarding, far beyond those past goals I used to pursue.
I challenge you to become mindful of how you’re living your life and how you view your health. Are your health goals chained to your outer appearance, or are they free in God’s glory and a desire to take care of His creation? Being kind to ourselves and providing ourselves with what we need is just another way of putting God’s Word into action, inevitably leading to opportunities to truly embody His image.
What roles do faith and wellness play in your life? How can you incorporate both into a single, cohesive practice?
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie