Should a Christian use medicine, or should we simply trust God to heal us when we are sick? The Bible has the answer. It was the wisdom of Solomon (in Proverbs 17:22) that said that a merry heart does good "like a medicine". So it’s not just a merry heart that does good. Medicines also do us good.
Here’s what Sue and I would do when our kids were young and became sick. We would pray for them, and take them to the doctor if it was more than a minor complaint. If the doctor saw fit to put him in the hospital, we would pray even more--that God would give wisdom to the doctors, because hospitals have become very dangerous places.
You may not realize it, but around 40,000 people die on roads in the United States each year. However, a massive 200,000 people die in hospitals because of medical mistakes and infections. That means that in ten years two million people die while in the care of our medical professionals. That’s frightening and that fact should make us want to pray.
One way to keep out of hospitals is to control our appetite. Listen to the somewhat cutting verse from Proverbs 23:2 about that appetite we so often have to fight: “And put a knife to your throat.” If you are a man or woman given to appetite, you must learn to cultivate the virtue of self-control. There are many serious complications and terrible diseases that result in an untimely death, that come with obesity.
An incredible 58 million Americans are overweight, while 40 million are obese, and three million morbidly obese. You pastor and friends may not feel comfortable telling you that you are killing yourself with your knife and fork, but I can. Think of it--40 million Americans are obese! No wonder our health care system is staggering under the weight of that overload.
I have to tell you that I am not overweight, but I do have a monster of an appetite within me that wants me to be overweight. That monster wants control, and I have to daily beat him into submission. His name is “Adam,” (that is, my sinful nature) and he not only wants control of my mouth, but also my eyes, ears, tongue and my mind. If I give in to him, the Bible says that the result will be death. So I have no choice. I have to fight with everything I have.
By the way, obesity is not always caused genetically, as some maintain. Neither is it a disease (although some medical conditions and certain foods may cause weight gain). When the Americans liberated those who were in concentration camps in 1945, they found that there were no obese people. They were all skinny. Obesity is almost always caused by self-indulgence--by eating too much food or by eating the wrong food. A good rule to live by for healthy living, is: "If God created it (vegetables, fruit, etc.), eat it. If man has messed with it, read the label, carefully."
So here’s some practical advice. Serve your meal up on a small plate. It will look like more. Then leave something on the plate and put it in the refrigerator for later. Drink hot drinks where the monster roars and wants to be feed. That can often help, and make sure you read your Bible daily. It’s God’s instruction book on how to live this life, and how to get to the next. Don’t ignore it.
Photo by: Norbert Kaiser