• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Why personal health is important

In talking about the inner life, Jesus said: “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”  (Mark 7:15)  His words created quite a stir among the religious leaders of the day (see Matthew 15) who based holiness on outward conformity to a set of sacrificial and ceremonial laws. personal health

If I were to try and put this in our language today, I would say that God yearns for each of us to have strong personal health or a deep inner life.  A deep inner life is the driver behind right and fruitful ministry activity.

Time, energy and effort must be given to cultivate our inner life.  It’s not something that happens by osmosis.  It’s not something that happens on our own.

Cultivating our personal health certainly includes meditation on the Word of God and honest dialogue with the Father.  However, the deepening of our own inner life also comes through our engagement and interaction with a community of believers.  In this context, we work out the truth of the Scriptural principles that “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)

One critical area of personal health is growth in emotional intelligence.  In other words, growth in understanding how others ‘receive’ us.  As our attitude should reflect our love and devotion to Jesus, we often miss the mark and do not even realize that our comments can appear cutting or hurtful to others.  The outside-in input of others in a community in which we are engaged can greatly help us to recognize blind spots and learn to grow in demonstrating love to others.

Personal health is certainly ‘personal’ when we talk about one’s individual inner life.  However, one’s personal health depends in so many ways on the work of the Spirit and the input of others around us.

6 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more David! I esp. resonate with the last line, while personal health is “personal”, too often I think we hide behind that banner in an attempt to avoid others speaking into our lives about the blind spots. The inner life with the Spirit can only be enhanced when we invite others to give input into how we come across to them in our speech, actions, and example. This requires humility & vulnerability – 2 qualities I believe are tops in defining a great leader.

  2. Without that ‘feedback’ from others, our spiritual growth and development will be stunted. Any thoughts on how to grow leaders in humility and vulnerability?

  3. Well…no silver bullet…but failure sure does a lot for growth in these areas! I also think that awareness of how dependent he/she is on the Lord for everything helps growth in this area – when we finally come to the end of our self-sufficiency and gifting in what we “offer” to God, then we come face-to-face with our weakness and inability. In my mind, this often brings humility and a teachable spirit.

    • Failure has a wonderful way of stripping away our pride and making us teachable. I say this from personal experience. It seems that after my failures was the time God used for greatest growth. May God help us remember to extend grace to those who are struggling and help them grow through their painful experience rather than marginalising or writing them off.

      • I don’t think we leave enough room for people to try and have something not work (a version of failure) which would allow people to grow in their inner life as well as their ministry life. In other words, any time something does not work the way we expected is another opportunity to ask hard questions and grow.

  4. You’re right. No silver bullet, but we certainly need a ‘theology of failure’ which allows us to see those times as opportunities to grow in our dependence and trust in God.

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