You've probably seen the term "Health and Wellness" used in different contexts. Most are connected with Zen-based practices. It can be confusing. What is health and wellness?What difference would Christian faith make in health and wellness? The worldview, or religious philosophy, is the lens that makes a difference in how we think of health and wellness.
By basic definition, health means having the ability and energy to do the things we wish to do on a daily basis. Wellness means we are on a pursuit of purpose, satisfying relationships, a sense of value to our work efforts, finding balance in life, and having appreciation for our environment. When we are unable to experience any of these things, we find life stressful and unfullfilling. These basic definitions are neutral in their worldview perspective.
The health and wellness approach considers a wholistic approach to helping people help themselves. Wholistic meaning that the different areas or parts of a person are considered in the entirety of the person: body, mind, and spirit. In other words, if one area in your life is problematic, it will affect the other areas. The term holistic is often used from a New Age or New Spirituality viewpoint, integrating Eastern religious views and medicine practices, with pagan nature religions. This is why you see so much about meditation for stress relief, Reiki massage to heal internal systems through manipulation of Chakras, yoga for health benefits, etc. The whole health and wellness field is dominated by this religious view.
The New Age Movement has taken hold of the health and wellness field pervading the health, medical, fitness, and spiritual dimensions of our society. Unfortunately, it is being upheld as a "neutral" worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth. The NO Zen Zone will explain this in greater detail when it comes out. Christians need to be aware of what they practice. For the purposes of this post, I would like to turn our attention to the fact that the health and wellness in the mainstream teaches the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Toaism, Zen (a blend of Taoism and Buddhism), spirituality, and pagan, nature-worship religions such as Wicca.These are not neutral. They are opposed to God and the soul-saving grace of Jesus Christ. As spiritual beings, we were created in God's image. We are not God, though. God gave us the innate desire to seek Him, find meaning to life and death, and pursue the understanding of our purpose in this world. It is from our religious premise we come to understand these things, fueling our decision-making processes. But it is not the entirety of health and wellness. That is why Totally Fit 4 Life exists; to bring Jesus Christ to the center of our lives. The Christian Health and Wellness movement is quietly coming to people's attention.
The approach we take here maintains a total person view: physical, spiritual, mental, and social. When one area of life is problematic, it will affect the others. As a Christian, how we view these areas is in light of what the Bible teaches which informs these areas and guides our decision-making processes. One part affects the whole (Matthew 6:23). For example, if we are ill, it will affect people around us directly or indirectly, we will begin to be frustrated then depressed if the illness continues, if the illness is severe and/or long-term it will eventually affect our view of God. You can go through the same process beginning at any point on the fish-cross to understand what happens through the entire person with any issue.
As a spiritual being, we seek God, but are unable to find Him on our own. He reaches out to us offering forgiveness for our sin: bad thoughts, deeds, or words, and utter rebellion which separate us from Him. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior we have forgiveness for our sin, but we also must allow Him Lordship, or authority, of our lives. God deserved our love and devotion to Him, and no one else (Exodus 20:5, 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24). This means we don't follow other religious practices, including Zen, because they are from Satan not God; they are opposed to Him. This love relationship gives us direct access to God.We may pray to God, contemplate His Word in relationship to our lives, and how to live for Him. We have his Holy Spirit who resides in us, not the "spark of the divine". He is not some impersonal force. Rather, He leads, guides, and direct us in how we live because He wants the best for us. When we live God's way, we want to please Him. Our Creator wants to be involved in our lives because He loves us.
If we think of our bodies not being our own, but they a (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then we consider how we treat our bodies as stewardship. This is not a means of "enlightenment" nor to reach "Nirvana". We eat healthy, exercise, and trust God to guide and direct our medical practitioners to help us with illness and disease. Sometimes, He does miraculously heal by a means that has no other explanation. We are to use them not just for ourselves, but for other people's benefit to God's glory (Ephesians 2:10). When we take this approach we take the focus off how we look. Our faith, which is internal, reflects externally (Daniel 1:8-16).
Our interactions with other people change because we treat them the way we want to be treated. They are also created in the image of God deserving respectful treatment. They are not gods any more than we are. However, they are loved by God, too. As we meet others needs, their value is elevated. If problems arise, we work to right them seeking reconciliation. We offer forgiveness when someone wrongs us, regardless of whether they deserve it or not, as we have been forgiven by God. We seek peace with others (1 Peter 3:10-12). Quite often we must go through a process of self-reflection asking God to show us where we contribute to a problem and how to be a part of the solution.
Our mental outlook on life is to focus on what is good from God (Philippians 4:8). This is not putting on rose-colored glasses, ignoring really bad issues. It is an overall outlook on life with God's goodness. The discernment we have been given must be used to evaluate all things. We are to examine ourselves with "sober judgement" (Romans 12:3). If we use the correct lenses we will be of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6-8). Much of mental health and stability can be maintained this way.
God deserves all of us, because He has withheld nothing from us. When we worship Him with all of our being, we have wellness. Peace. That is the Christian difference in Christian Health and Wellness.
NETA Health and Wellness Coach Manual by James Gavin and Madeleine Mcbrearty. Copyright 2013.
First Place 4 Health www.firstplace4health.com
The Holy Bible, NKJV biblegateway.com