Friday, April 22, 2011
“Set your mind on things above…” –Col. 3:2
Health dominates most of our lives. If you disagree, take a notepad with you the next time you watch TV and jot down every commercial that has to do with healthcare. Insurance and medication advertisements take up most of the commercial business. That’s because we’re obsessed with health. It’s certainly okay to be healthy, but I was reminded this past week that it’s not okay to be obsessed with it. It reminded me that what we prioritize in our lives is usually passed onto our kids. We need to be sure that what we’re passing on is appropriate, lasting and quality.
This past week I contracted a bacterial infection in my colon (yuck). I had pretty bad “digestive issues” along with chills and fever. I got so dehydrated that I had to go to the hospital to have an IV inserted to give me fluids. While there, they prescribed a heavy-duty antibiotic to knock out the bacteria. My body was doing it’s best to rid me of the bad bacteria (apparently we have “good” bacteria that lives down there too) but I needed help. And slowly, it’s apparently working.
From the minute I took the first regime of pills, I felt better. Just knowing I had something inside me that was fighting for me made me feel better. For all I knew, the capsule contained sugar only, but it still made me feel better. Research has proven that theory over and over: if I think I should feel better, than I usually begin to feel better. There is a whole science in medicine and psychology called “psychosomatic medicine” that studies how our minds affect our bodies.
I wonder why knowing I had taken that pill made me feel better? I’m sure somewhere deep down inside I felt like something was fighting for me. When we’re sick, we can feel so alone. Sure, we know our bodies are fighting the infection, but we want that extra boost.
Of course, other “boosts” exist within us that are much more lasting than a pill. None is more important than the spirit of our loving God that lives within those who have confessed Jesus as Lord. Scripture reinforces that God, via the Holy Spirit, lives within each one of us as our teacher, convictor and encourager. A pill wears off after a few days, but the Spirit of our loving God is eternal and lasting. If a pill brings confidence to our lives, then knowing the God of the Universe calls us friend and lives within us should produce major confidence in our lives. Remind your kids again and again that they are never alone if the Lord lives in their hearts.
Another “pill” that fights for us is family. We often forget that we’re not on our own, that we have family that stands with us through the difficult times. It’s been said that, “blood is thicker than water.” In other words, there is a bond within family that should bring security and confidence to us. Unfortunately, it’s easy for competiveness and distance to dispel the security that God intended within family. Take the initiative to reach out and love those within your family. Remember, your kids are watching how you treat your family. That’s how they’ll treat you when they’re older so be sure to set a good example.
Be sure you model more than a focus on health with your kids. Prioritize faith and family with your kids and though they may act like they’re not interested at times, they will remember the lessons. Feel free to be obsessed with family and faith.
You’ll find that it is contagious, whether you take the pills or not.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©