Does Spiritual Health Affect Your Physical Health


We live today in a very compartmentalized society. By that I mean that we look at everything as a separate entity that does not affect the other. I thought of that this morning when I read:

Psalm 32:3 (KJV) - When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

By breaking down this verse of David’s psalm, we learn how our physical health often correlates with our spiritual health:

  • When I kept silence – By keeping silent, what David is implying is that he was silent in confessing his sins. We know this because the previous two verses deals with the subject of repentance.
  • my bones waxed old -  Here, David is alluding to the physical pain he was suffering. He felt that his bones and his body were waxing, or wasting away. Think about it, the older we get the more physical pain we feel,e specially in our bones.
  • through my roaring all the day long – Here, David pulls back the curtain and tells us how he was roaring, or groaning, all day because of this physical pain.

So at one point in David’s life (the Bible shows us at least a couple of different instances that this could refer to) he suffered physical pain because of unconfessed sin. In the common language of today, it could be said that David pens, “When I kept silent and refused to confess my sin, my bones and body wasted away, and I groaned in pain all day long.”

Now, before anyone thinks, '”Well, that is only in the Old Testament,” let me remind you of what Paul warned the Corinthian church in relation to the taking of the Lord’s Supper:

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 KJV (27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

As I read David’s psalm today, I thought about how much my pain, both physically and mentally, is really just spiritual in nature. Many times, our physical health is tied to our spiritual condition. There is joy when our communion with God is where it should be, and we often suffer from physical ailments when stress and sin separate us from a closeness with our Heavenly Father.

NOTE: Please don’t misunderstand me and paint me as a “Health and Wealth” prosperity preacher. There are many instances given to us in God’s Word where men and women suffered physically do to no spiritual shortfall of their own. Job is an example of this from the Old Testament, and Paul is a great reminder of this in the New Testament. But truth be told, many of us suffer more as David did in this Psalm than as Paul did with his thorn in the flesh.

So, how do we combat this? Here are a few practices that I can think of:

  1. Pray – This is what Psalm 32 is: a prayer and song of David’s reflection on the times when his physical suffering was due to unconfessed sin. I know this sounds so simple, and we know that prayer is what should be done, but do we pray sincerely and deeply as we should? I remember when I lived in Texas the family doctor we had in Decatur, Texas. He was a good Christian man, and when he found out that I was a Bible College graduate and was praying about pastoring soon, we would often spend a couple of minutes talking about spiritual things. I will always remember what he said to me (and I think my wife Darci was with me at that time), “I know a lot of people who come to my office sick, and there is nothing I can do for them because there problem is spiritual in nature.” He then talked a little bit about the importance of prayer.
  2. Confess – Sin is the source of our pain. So if we are tired of it, we should let it go through confession in prayer. When we come to the realization that sin is the source of our health ailment, there is no earthly doctor who has the remedy.
  3. Serve – There is joy in serving the Lord by doing good things for those around you.

What are some other ways to renew your physical health through spiritual disciplines that you can think of?


XOXO Dr. Kay Elizabeth said...

So very true. Keeping bad secrets can have a negative affect on your health. I think it is good to get to the source of things because not all the time can medicine heal you, they can temporarily suppress the physical ailments but can do nothing to heal/cure what is really ailing them. Honestly our thoughts, etc exists in our head which is the control center of our body so when something is out of whack or out of balance you see that same affect happening to the body. Mental anguish can cause physical anguish. Sorry but I am in the pursuit ofa medical career and these are some of my thoughts on a lot of things people think they may have but turns out to be nothing. Not that they aren't feeling symptoms, just that medically there is nothing wrong with them. Test after test is negative yet they still suffer from something that cant be cured with pills. My motto face whatever it is that's bothering you because if you continue to hide it, or cover it up, it's eventually going to eat you alive and it's not going anywhere, it'll only get worse and worsen over time. Sorry for the long post but these are just some of my thoughts. :)

JTR said...

I think SERVING is a great point! Get into the work, and the Lord provides strength and grace for the work! You get the benefits as well. Anytime you are feeling sorry for yourself, it's also a (hard but) good way to recharge - get your mind on others.