Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Which Do You Think is Easier?

Matthew 9:5 For which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?

God created harmony, order and wholeness. Everything in creation expresses that, including our bodies. I'd like to continue and expand on this theme of wholeness we touched on in the last post. We are not meant to be solely spiritual beings while on this earth. We are spirits, who have a soul and live in a physical body. God specifically created us in this way in order for us to be able to function on this planet. Without our physical bodies, we could not survive on planet earth. Let's look at several passages that I find thought-provoking.

The woman with the issue of blood has been heralded for her faith. However, what I would like to concentrate on here is how her physical infirmity affected her spirit and soul. In the culture of her day a woman with that affliction, or even during her monthly period, was not allowed to attend worship services or to have relations with her husband. She had this bleeding problem for twelve, long years! Can you imagine how it must have devastated her personal relationships as well as her spiritual life? When Jesus healed the paralytic in Matthew 9:2-8, He equated forgiveness of sins with physical healing as the opening scripture shows.

Consider 1 Thessalonians 5:23 in the Amplified version: And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through - that is, separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God - and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete (and found) blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

There is a branch of science called psychoneuroimmunology - a huge mouthful that refers to he study of how our thoughts and beliefs affect our physical health and most specifically our immune systems. Guilt, shame, bitterness, unforgiveness, fear and anger cause very specific physical consequences. Brain scans show that when you imagine an event, your thoughts activate the areas of your brain that were triggered during the actual event. So, if you continually replay a stressful event in your mind, your body reacts as if it was really occurring - over and over! When your brain is activated it causes different chemical and hormonal responses to take place.

We now know how chronic stress can cause adrenal fatigue, heart disease, diabetes and is even a factor in obesity. But even minor stress, such as an argument or anxiety about an exam, hinders the immune system. In fact, research shows that anger from an argument delays wound healing by at least a day!

That certainly gives new meaning to God's command to "be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26). Every one of His commands is for our good - spirit, soul and body - after all, He really does know best!

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