WHAT ARE SOME RESOURCES IN MAINTAINING SPIRITUAL HEALTH?

Paul encourages us not to become weary in well-doing and to take the opportunities we have to do good to all people, especially our brothers and sisters in the families of God (II Thessalonians 3:13).

We need to take those retreats for rest and recreation, rather than “burn-out.”

We need to attend to our daily physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual nourishment and upbuilding. In other words, we need to love ourselves so that we can also love our neighbors. And, love our neighbors so that we can love ourselves, rather than feel guilty for failing to do so.

Loving ourselves can be a problem for those of us who have challenges to either our physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health and wholeness. Again we are faced with the problems of:

self-esteem, how we judge ourselves,

self-concept, the totality of thoughts about self and behavior,

self-image, how we “see” ourselves

and more importantly,

self-identity, who and what we identify with and who we are in our own minds.

Remember Who and Whose YOU Are, a Child in God’s Family.

A HEALTHY FAMILY MODEL

As you try to model your family after God’s family, you might like to know some characteristics of healthy families that have been identified over the years. Timmen L. Cermak, M.D., works with dysfunctional families who have drug and alcohol related problems. In a workshop I attended he outlined seven characteristics that he helps families work toward. You can find these explained in his book, A Time to Heal, published by Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., Los Angeles, 1988,and available at amazon books, http://www.amazon.com/Time-Heal-Recovery-Children-Alcoholics/dp/0380707225.

The characteristics are:

1. Safety so that you can give and receive support. That is, we do not attack or abuse one another verbally or physically.

2. Open Communication so that we can deal with complaints and offer compliments.

3. Self-Care is allowed and supported.

4. Individualized Roles that allow for each person’s uniqueness.

5. Continuity through:

A. consistency in the values practiced and

B. knowledge of the family history.

6. Respect for privacy while maintaining safety.

7. Focussed attention with:

A. consideration of the child’s need for schedule and structure and of your own and other adult’s needs, and

B. verbal expression of the complete range of emotion, that is, not to ignore either your own positive or your negative emotions, and to allow the other person to express both also.

In previous posts you will find examples of ways to express yourself in non-abusive ways by using a range of “feeling words”, “I” messages and  loving confrontations, self-help cognitive therapy work, a way to get out of vicious circles, a way to start over by being born of God, to create a new identity.

In addition to the usual considerations included in “Whole Health” attention must be given to financial health. If a person does not have the financial resources to obtain healthy food, health advisors, health insurance, counseling as needed, necessary ongoing education and build up financial resources for life in retirement, health is seriously impaired.

We must pay attention to the difference between our “needs” and our “wants,” how to use money and other resources wisely–keeping daily, weekly, monthly and annual track of money habits, how money is spent and how one can create savings now and in the future, learning budget methods and responsible use of credit, regular savings, safe investments, and local “safety net” resources for those really tough financial times.

Jesus taught his followers to give to the poor, assured them of God’s love and care for their daily needs. He taught them and us to pray to Our Father: for God’s kingdom here, for our daily bread, for forgiveness ourselves and to forgive others, and to keep us from evil activities and events. See Matthew Chapter 6.

In my personal life and in observation of others dedicated to God’s work in the world, I have seen miracles of provision for needs.

This gives evidence for hope for further care by our heavenly Father. Hope based on confidence in God’s ability to work in us and in cooperation with us in our own utilization of personal resources, brain-power and community efforts to achieve what might be called personal peace and God’s Kingdom on Earth.

Please comment or contact me if you would like to see the Here’s to Your Health! posts combined into an updated At Eden’s Gate: Whole Health and Well-Being as an e-book for easier reference to its resources for physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health.

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