When it comes to diagnosing illnesses of the human body,
modern medicine has developed very sophisticated tools to expose
illnesses and permit treatment. We have X-rays, magnetic resonance
imaging and echocardiograms, to name just a few. We know the value of
these tests and have benefited immensely from subsequent treatment.
for diagnosing the health of our spirit, the relation of our spirit to
itself, to others and to God, there’s nothing like the word of God. The
word of God came from our creator in the first place.
The Bible is
a continuous series of health prescriptions that tell us our origins,
where we are going and how to develop a healthy spiritual lifestyle to
get there. To know that we were freely created by God and called to
someday reign with Him in glory for all eternity is invaluable in
opening our hearts to receive the love we need to develop healthy
relationships with God and others and finally rejoice for all eternity
in the results.
The word of God, in the Bible, is our diagnostic
tool. “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any
two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and
marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”
as the body develops illnesses, so do spirits. Every day I experience a
discrepancy between what I want to do and what God wants me to do. When
I choose to do my will, I distance myself from my destiny, which is
God. When I choose God’s will, I become more intimate with Him.
for example, if someone slights me ever so little, I may choose to get
angry and reason that I have every right to be angry, simply because the
other person was wrong. The more I insist on my way, the more
frustrated and hurt I become.
However, God’s penetrating word
brings relief. Paul tells us in Ephesians: “Be angry but do not sin. Do
not let the sun go down upon your anger, so as to give Satan a
foothold.” If I really want relief, that word of God spells relief
through repentance and intercessory prayer. I simply ask for God’s
forgiveness and remember Jesus’ exhortation to “pray for your enemies.”
God’s word brings perfect relief and brings me closer to my God. Before
turning to God I was focusing on the pleasure of nurturing anger that
only intensified the misery.
If I allow my fantasy to explore
possible sexual images and I choose to give in to sexual pleasure, I
realize that the promise of exquisite physical pleasure quickly turns
into remorse and into self-incrimination. If I do nothing, the darkness
deepens. However, if I recall Jesus words: “He who looks on a woman so
as to commit adultery with her has already committed adultery,” I am
apprehended by Christ’s words. Again, relief comes through repentance.
word of God is not to be used only as a remedy for getting out of sin,
but more as a formula to keep me out of sin. Meditating on the word of
God daily brings light to my inner darkness. The word of God helps me
see the dangers of temptations. It helps me seek God’s help before the
temptation even arises.
The word of God throws light on subtle
inner movements and on where my unredeemed desires would lead me. In
exposing my inner weakness and bringing this weakness to the light of
prayer, I grow in virtue instead of dropping into the darkness of sin.
since there are new compulsions surfacing every day, I need to spend
quality quiet time every day reflecting on the word of God so that I am
forewarned as to where these compulsions are leading me.
look at the Gospel this week. A rich young man asks Jesus what more he
needs to do to inherit eternal life. He seems to be a very good man but
lacks God’s word to direct his life. Hence, he came to the Jesus with
his question. He probably thought that he had made all the right choices
for a happy life, but he didn’t know about the afterlife. When the word
of God revealed that to him, he was incapable of hearing it. However,
we can only hope that Jesus’ words became a wake-up call.
of us go online to diagnose our medical illness, and yet we ignore our
spiritual illness, which have eternal consequences.
I am truly
edified when again and again I encounter people who spend time daily
reflecting on the word of God. This confronts shortcomings and
encourages them to move in the direction of virtue. Developing virtues
brings them alive, encourages them and fills them with joy.
find great relief when they begin to reach out to others to befriend
them and offer assistance. They know that they are participating in the
Father’s reaching out to others and the privilege this gives them.
lifestyle will take a dramatic step forward if you spend a few minutes
each day quietly reflecting on God’s word. This is God-time. This is
life-changing. This is falling in love with God.