Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First, clean the inside of the cup and dish and then the outside also will be clean.
I realize that in this verse, Jesus is referring to greed and hypocrisy, spiritual and soul issues. However, I believe it is relevant to another issue, one that relates to our physical health.
So many of us are focused on the goal of "looking" younger. In our society, younger is better. We exercise, starve ourselves, take all sorts of diet pills and other drugs that promise noticeable results. We submit to botox, cosmetic surgery and liposuction. We are missing the most important factor in real health and wholeness. And an unexpected bonus will be that we actually look and feel better, with more energy - which equals youthfulness to me.
What am I talking about? Detox. Not, not drug detox which is what most people may think of. I mean purposely, systematically, periodically cleansing our spirits, souls and bodies of the toxins that assault us on a daily basis. Real healing and health begin from the inside out, at the cellular level. If you have poisons flooding your cells, eventually your body will begin to break down.
These toxins and poisons are all around us - in the air we breathe, in our water and food, in our emotions, relationships and thoughts. Unless we are consciously aware of them and take the necessary steps to flush them from our lives, they build up and overtake us.
We must take Jesus' command to the Pharisees to heart and look inward in all three areas of our lives. We can take that day of rest God instituted for our good and use it to pray, worship God and release any toxic attitudes we are harboring in our spirits: unforgiveness, offense, resentment, fear, worry, envy. Acknowledge them to yourself and then confess them to God. He already knows about them, but the very act of admitting you are fearful or resentful is cathartic for you. Spend time in praise and worship; meditate on the Word of God and realign your spirit.
Are you walking around with a toxic soul - mind, will or emotions? Fasting is one of the most effective ways to detox. Fasting is simply giving up food for a set period of time. Why not try a "soul" fast - give up criticizing, judging, complaining, worrying, gossiping, procrastinating? Stop speaking negative words for one day. It isn't easy - you have to be aware and willing to stop yourself, but you can do it. Then go two days; how about three? Are you always putting yourself down? Listen to your self talk and make a concerted effort to stop those negative, defeating thoughts in their tracks and replace them with positive, encouraging thoughts. Change those "I can't" thoughts to "I can" and "I will." Not only will you feel a difference, you will see your entire countenance change!
What about your body? There are many different ways to detoxify. You can try a raw food diet, juice fast, use one of the many cleanses available at your health food store, try a plan like Isagenix, eat more organic vegetables and fruits and increase water and fiber. I, personally, do a 3-day juice fast every month. I look at it holistically - I tithe a tenth of my month to cleansing my spirit, soul and body. The act of denying myself cleanses and strengthens my spirit and soul (particularly my will!) and the juices and green foods cleanse my body and give my digestion a rest. That's only one way to do it.
Recently I was given a book to read called, "Give Your Body a Break" by Celeste Davis. She is a Whole-Food Lifestyle and Detox Coach. She details in her book a 28-day plan using mostly raw, whole foods to cleanse the body, as well as practicing forgiveness and living life intentionally. It's an excellent option for someone with health issues who wouldn't otherwise know where to begin. She details the plan day by day and walks you through it. I highly recommend it and you can get more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father always knows best. In order for the outside of our temple to look its best, we must begin by cleansing the inside.