Many of us have made resolutions for this coming year. Mine include riding my bike more often, spending more time with family and friends, eating healthier, and learning to say “NO” to chocolates when I’m at the grocery store (at least more often than I do!).
You may have similar goals or yours may be completely different than mine. But — have you ever considered making a resolution to get emotionally and spiritually healthy? Could it be time to make that commitment today?
“The reality is that emotional maturity and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” Peter Scazzero
Let’s stop and consider how emotional and spiritual health impact one another and what we can do to improve both this year.
Emotional health relates to our ability to think clearly in painful, stressful, and problematic situations. Spiritual health, on the other hand, is measured by our understanding of God and His Word and revolves around our ability to implement biblical principles that allow us to more closely model Christ-like behavior. Clear thinking helps us avoid things that drive us from God and affords us the ability to understand scripture and apply it to our lives. In the same way, when we implement biblical principles and model Christ-like behavior on a regular basis, we are better prepared to think clearly and make wise choices in the midst of any circumstances.
It’s not uncommon to attend church weekly for years, read our Bibles regularly, and participate in classes, church events, and conferences often, yet still struggle to respond, “like Christ,” when challenged by trials or offended by others.
Striving to maintain healthy relationships, working to process and overcome hurt feelings, and avoiding judgment and criticism of ourselves and others, go hand in hand with our spiritual health.
Let’s consider the following characteristics that help us define Emotional Health:
The ability to-
- Recognize, name, express, and manage our feelings.
- Identify with and have compassion for others.
- Build and maintain healthy, meaningful relationships.
- Break free from self-destructive patterns, past painful experiences, and destructive and distortive beliefs.
- Be open, truthful, and transparent about our feelings.
- Love and respect others in spite of differences.
- Continually self-examine our thoughts and actions.
- Face conflict with maturity and recognize resolutions effectively.
Now, let’s consider the following characteristics that help us define Spiritual Health:
The ability to-
- Articulate our personal testimony when we accepted Christ as our Savior.
- Accept God’s forgiveness for our sins and forgive others when they sin against us.
- Love and see others the way Jesus loves and see them.
- Recognize God’s presence and sovereignty in all circumstances.
- Dedicate our self to daily reading and the study of God’s Word.
- Read and understand God’s Word accurately.
- Apply God’s Word to any and every situation.
- Dedicate our self to be prepared in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with great patience and instruction.
- Worship corporately with other believers.
- Fellowship with other believers.
- Demonstrate a life characterized by the fruit of the Spirit.
- Maintain a consistent prayer life.
- Share the Gospel and defend the faith.
As you read through these lists, did you notice areas in your emotional and spiritual health that need your attention? I know I sure did! So, let’s take this year’s resolutions to a whole new level and make a commitment to strengthen our areas of weakness in our overall health.