Life in Abundance

South American Division

Life in Abundance

How spirituality contributes to the fullness of the human being

Commentary | Brazil | Angie Valdez and Francesco Marquina

What is health? Would you know how to define it? The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it is characterized by "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This concept is now over 70 years old without any modification, but it wasn't always like that. Since the previous definition only considered the absence of biological or physical pathologies, the recognition of the mental and social aspects is a positive evolution. However, in light of God's Word, even the most modern concept is still incomplete. 

It is exciting to note that thousands of years ago, the Bible already presented the human being as a biological, mental, and social entity. However, it adds the spiritual aspect to this formula. In Luke 2:52, it is written that Jesus "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." This is the integral model of the human being. In the eyes of God, man and woman are biological, psychological, social, and spiritual beings. 

This concept assumes the harmonious integration of these four aspects gives us complete health and happiness. When one of them goes out of balance, it affects the others automatically. For example, the habit of eating fatty foods will, over time, trigger cardiovascular disease. With compromised physical health, mood is likely to change, which can lead to anxiety or depression. In turn, these disorders cause the individual to withdraw from friends and family. With this unstable scenario, it is reasonable to think communion with God will also be harmed. 

Full Cure 

The therapeutic action of God surprises us with its method—so simple and current. “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35, KJV). Remember, too, that in addition to healing the sick body, He restored the heart by offering forgiveness. The Master knew that only people who recognize themselves as freed from their own evil feel free to approach God in communion. This was Christ's priority. 

We can also recognize the restorative action of spirituality from another perspective. Those who do not know God try to recover health in their own strength, using human inventions and methods. They struggle alone and plunge into a world of uncertainty and excessive worry about the future. This insecurity causes discomfort and psychological problems, such as mood swings, irritability, low self-esteem, remorse, anxiety, panic, depression, and defeatist and even suicidal thoughts. How different is the story of one who puts his or her trust in the Lord! 

God is the source of the peace human beings seek so much. He is able to fill every existential void and lack of affection and transform every negative emotion. He instills hope, comfort, forgiveness, relief, security, and love. Knowing the Father cares for us and gives us a second chance in the face of our mistakes is refreshing for the mind; it promotes the longed-for inner peace, to which nothing in the world can be compared and which no amount of money can buy. Even for the body that suffers from some illness, the feeling of fullness that springs from communion with God is a powerful remedy. 

Friends, I want to emphasize that Jesus Himself made it clear that He came into this world so we might have life in abundance (see John 10:10). Our Savior wants us to be healthy and happy, and that depends on the decisions we make daily. My wish is that you choose to follow the guidelines God left us in His Word, both for the care of your body and mind and for interpersonal relationships. May you maintain an intimacy with Him that is reflected in a perfect balance of all aspects of your life. May He be your best medicine—your best friend.

This article was originally published in issue 2020.3 of Afam Magazine