Jesus took the command of the “Golden Rule” to love someone as you love yourself to a whole new level. He loved others MORE than he loved his own life. He treated others as MORE important than himself. He gave up his very life for the sake of others – the most extreme expression of human love possible.
We live in a very polluted environment these days, and much of our food is mass produced and altered in such a way that we end up consuming toxins that our body needs to process and eliminate in order for us to enjoy good physical health. There are a variety of cleansing and detoxification protocols and products used today for these physical cleansings of the body. But your spirit also is subject to spiritual toxins, and we are all in need of spiritual cleansing on a regular basis to keep our spiritual life healthy.
We can’t rely on ourselves, and we can’t rely on others. We can only rely on God’s love. It is not enough to just simply know about God’s love intellectually. We have to have the kind of experience with God and his love where we rely upon it, because we are living inside God’s love, and his love is living inside of us through the Holy Spirit. That kind of experiential knowledge of God’s love will change our life, and the lives of those around us.
Being effective and productive in life begins with our minds, and understanding the “great and precious promises” that Christ has given us, and the “divine power” that is available to us. But it then moves beyond the intellectual knowledge, and produces faith in our life to put into practice the things we know are true. What good are great and precious promises and divine power if we never use them and put them into practice? When we put them into practice, we possess the qualities of an effective and productive life that are listed here by Peter: faith – goodness – knowledge – self control – perseverance – godliness – brotherly kindness – love.
Do you recognize that you need to depend upon God for your “daily bread?” Do you go to him in prayer asking him to supply you with the healthy food your body requires? Do you trust the people who supply your food? Do you even know who they are? Do they trust God? What will happen if you go to the store one day and find that the shelves are bare because those you put your trust in to supply your food have failed? Is the food you are now buying even healthy, in the form God created it?
The most important event in our life, however, is our physical death – the end of our life when our physical body can no longer support our spirit. It is also an event that we have little or no control over. We cannot prevent it. Death is a certainty, and it is not very predictable. After our body dies, we go on living into eternity. And yet an event as important as this seldom gets the attention in preparation that other less important major events in our life receive. So have you made preparations for this inevitable future event in your life?
Physical fitness and training is a huge business in our culture today, as we become a more sedentary population in the age of science and technology. Athletes must prepare and implement a specific plan to train physically in order to compete successfully. Likewise today, many of us who lead sedentary lifestyles must make specific plans to stay physically fit through regular exercise, or our health will deteriorate. But Paul told Timothy that training to be godly was far more beneficial for one’s health than physical training. He stated that physical training was only of some value, whereas godliness has value for all things. Physical training is only good for as long as your body lasts in this life, while godly training has value both in the present life and also in the future life to come. This principle is especially true in our modern society, as we exalt and emphasize the physical realm, and either ignore or deny the spiritual realm altogether. So what is “godliness?”
The heart of idolatry is looking to sources outside of God for our basic needs and desires in life. The idols that are erected flow out of our experiences in life, and the idol is an attempt to explain life apart from the Creator. The cure for idolatry is belief and trust in God our Creator and Redeemer. Faith in God our Creator and the Redeemer Jesus, is the opposite of idolatry, and recognizes that life depends on God the Creator, and that redemption, the forgiveness of sins and spiritual rebirth, comes from a relationship with Jesus.
There are the two biblical principles of dealing with anxiety and stress, and they are the guiding principles for mental health. No drugs are needed. It requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, however, and not just an intellectual knowledge about him. So the first step is the spiritual rebirth.