The Standards Are Very Different

Through human eyes, we measure others by their great accomplishments. But God does not. It is the one who is repentant, humble, meek, and obedient to the will of God that will receive the greatest reward of eternal life. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth; for the father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24

Oh, how different are the standards by which God and men measure character. God sees many temptations resisted of which the world and even near friends never know—temptations in the home, in the heart. He sees the soul’s humility in view of its own weakness; the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil. He sees the wholehearted devotion to His service. He has noted the hours of hard battle with self—battle that won the victory. All this God and angels know. A book of remembrance is written before Him for them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. –Christ Object Lessons

Prayer: God, please help us not to focus on our earthly accomplishments, but to focus on serving you in humility and obedience. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Courage to Achieve Optimal Health

Disclaimer: The content that you are reading may be offensive to your current mindset.

During my nursing career, I worked in various areas, but Behavioral Health was my favorite. Performing the Intake interview, which included medical and psychosocial history, never ceased to amaze me. The two factors that all patients shared:

    1. “I know my situation is bad, but what can I do, I cannot change my circumstances.”
    2. Their past or background held them captive, and they repeated the same counterproductive habits every day with consistency.

An interesting fact that has me perplexed: Most individuals take care of their plants and animals better than they care for themselves. I have a neighbor with a beautiful pedigree dog with chocolate brown hair that shines like the sun. His first love (Puppy) is well-taken care of with toys, several walks a day, swimming in the river 2-3 times a week, and from the description of the food that Puppy eats, the cost of his food is my monthly food budget. One more fact, Puppy has a night-time dog sitter while his owner is at work. What a life!

Now let’s compare the lifestyle of Puppy’s owner: He is a chain smoker, drinks every day, eats from fast-food restaurants three times a day, never exercises, and works the night shift [research shows shorter life spans]. Since my neighbor lives alone without family in Florida, I often wonder what would happen to Puppy, who lives the rich and famous lifestyle, when his owner collapses from poor health.

I live in a glasshouse, so I am not throwing stones. Even so, at some point in life, I had to face the facts that I would have a premature death if I did not change my bad habits. My academic achievements and RN nursing license meant absolutely nothing regarding my addiction to self-gratification. I was not an emotional eater. I simply loved the great taste of food. And it was not the cheap fast food that is the craze of our nation. No, no, no, this was the high-fat, high-cholesterol meats like pastrami, corned beef, beef bacon, and lamb. Never really cared for steak, but I loved veal [the baby animals]. And the desserts, especially the variety of cheesecake, if it was created, then I had eaten it.

In 2017, my physician told me that he was very concerned about my health because of my non-modifiable risk factors and abnormal lab work [Diabetes and High Cholesterol]. When I heard that I was certain to have a heart attack sooner than later that I may not survive, the reality of my “do what makes you feel happy” lifestyle had to cease and desist.

There are two concepts that I was totally unaware of, and I did not learn until recently:

    1. Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
    2. “Without the desire to change, the courage to change, and a plan for change, we will not change.” (Johnson, 2021)

I could not apply the learned theories of anatomy and physiology and health principles that I learned throughout my lifespan because I did not possess the “desire to change.” When I desired to eat healthier, I did not have the courage or plan to change destructive habits. And for whatever reason, even with studying the Bible, I was unaware of 1 Corinthians 10:31. Where are the sermons on keeping our minds and bodies healthy?

Fact: Our bodies were created in the image of God to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.

We have discarded healthy behaviors for doing what makes us feel good and tastes great. And BIG PHARMA–pharmaceutical companies accommodate and feed our desires by developing and promoting their never-ending supply of pills. If we have the diagnosis, they have the drugs. We must stop our uncontrollable behaviors!

Identify the behaviors that are the root of your diagnosis of an unhealthy mind and body. Yes, we have the choice to live healthy by loving and taking care of ourselves. Begin today! Our past should not cripple our future! Pursue optimal health at all costs.

Our taste buds can be retrained. Discover fruits, vegetables, legumes, and the joy of cooking. Leave the cell phone, gaming, television, and laptop alone. Get outside. Take a walk, use your five senses to see the beauty of nature around you. If you live in the concrete jungle, find a scenic park. Do what is necessary to boost your endorphins and serotonin [research these hormones]. It takes exercise and bright light to make our mind and bodies thrive. Take control today!  

It’s still a beautiful world!

Prayer: God, we need to change our mindset. We realize that our behaviors are destroying our health. We ask you for the strength and wisdom to develop a life-altering plan to achieve optimal health. As we use courage and knowledge to change our lifestyles, please give us the desire to include you as our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson (Edited version)