Lutheran Church Extension Fund

A Wellness Plan Is Biblical

Advice is cheap.

And abundant. Everybody has an idea about what’s best for you.

When God’s children respond to the Spirit’s urging to make healthy life choices, they turn to the Word of the Lord. Most advice we’re bombarded with is faulty at best and corrupt at worst. The way our popular culture defines fitness and a healthy body, for example, causes tremendous pain, grief and even sickness to thousands.

Not to mention our culture’s advice about what a healthy relationship, a healthy intellectual life, or a healthy “spiritual” life look like.

Here’s a couple things I’m learning about following the Scriptures as a guide for healthy living as a redeemed disciple of Jesus Christ.

We’re dying to get healthy.

By that I mean life in Christ begins with dying to the old sinful nature, and coming alive with a new heart, a new attitude, made new by the forgiving grace of Christ.

We’re drowned in baptism (Romans 6) in order to live a brand new kind of life.

A biblical wellness plan begins where the Scriptures do: with the grace of God revealed in Christ. Wellness is never about what I do to get healthy, spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially. It’s always about what God has done in Christ and what he continues to do in me through his Spirit.

The Bible is full of wisdom literature in both the Old and New Testaments. God taught the proper way to approach the wisdom passages very early on. The Ten Commandments and the Pentateuch were given to God’s children after he rescued them by grace from Pharaoh’s clutches.

First, God saves. Then he shows us a new way of living.

At Grace Place, we like Ephesians.

(We like the whole Bible, but especially Ephesians!)

Many mistakenly suggest that Paul’s letter has two parts: the theological and the ethical. That’s a very simplistic, and I think erroneous, reading of the epistle.

The gospel is clearly proclaimed throughout all six chapters of Ephesians. Even the shift to “Part 2” in chapter four couldn’t be much clearer. When Paul imparts wisdom for living, it’s wisdom for baptismal living. “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received,” he says in verse one.

First he calls. Then he molds our new lifestyle.

Chapters four and five have some great instruction in healthy living. Paul touches on all eight aspects of a comprehensive wellness plan, like the one outlined by The Wellness Wheel.

Always built on the foundation of grace.

4:7 “To each one of us grace has been given.”

4:24 “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Wisdom is pure joy.

With that kind of foundation in the saving grace of Christ, living a life of healthy choices brings the fullness and richness of life that God intended for us.

No guilt. No “should.” Just a glad response to a Father who cares, following the pattern of his Son, and the gentle leading of the Spirit.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your joyful wellness journey!

And be sure to check out our new book, “Reclaiming the Joy of Ministry” as a guide to developing your biblical wellness plan!