How Do You Define Wellness?

April Goode Running at a 5K

With all the emphasis being placed on physical fitness and wellness in the workplace, it seemed like a good time to discuss it from a Biblical viewpoint. In fact, even as I write this article I am suffering from Bursitis of the right knee related to my beginning attempt to run. My wife April and I also get an immense amount of relaxation, and benefit from biking together. Exercise is a great stress easer and wellness tool I highly recommend. How do we define wellness? Should we define it as feeling good about ourselves? Ed Bulkey states, if a criminal feels good about his stealing, does that make him a mentally well person? (Bulkey p.144) Even Jesus' own family thought He was insane. (Mark 3:21) If this is the case then how can someone measure their own wellness? Is it all supposed to be relative or a matter of one's own personal preference? What if someone is being obedient to God's call, but doesn't feel good about where they are? I believe we must first separate wellness (feeling good) from having a peace about where we are. The Bible says, "I will keep you in perfect peace who's mind is stayed on Me." (Is 26:3) But does this type of peace have to do with how we emotionally feel? For example, when my son Noah was learning to walk he must have fallen more than a thousand times, or it just seemed like it to me. It was quite an experience for my wife and I. There were times Noah would let go and walk toward me. In Noah's mind it must have been uneasy or even scary because of the feelings of uncertainty in his legs, but he never had to wonder about the fact that his father was right there with him giving him encouragement and support. This gave Noah a sense of peace even when he felt uncertain about the next step. It's the same with the Christian's view and experience of wellness. Even when it appears we are three pills shy of the funny farm we can still have peace and contentment. Paul summarized it by saying, "I have learned that whatever state that I am in, there I am within to be content." (Phil 4:11) Let's now go back to the criminal who feels good about stealing. The criminal may feel good about his successful theft because it met an immediate need, but he will never be content with his life because he has pursued the temporal pleasures of life instead of the eternally satisfying and fulfilling course. Where are you today? Are you confused on how you should feel? Do you have no peace or contentment in your life? You may have the body of a Greek god and still be miserable with your circumstances. I encourage you to pursue the eternal and lasting things. Be patient, and strive for a Christ-like life that will bring glory and honor to our Savior. Whether you ever arrive at the earthly definition of wellness is irrelevant, but contentment and peace will never disappoint you!

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