Using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Improve Your Health
When we celebrated Pentecost, we heard the story about the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Jerusalem pilgrims who heard Peter’s first Pentecostal sermon, were pierced to the heart and said: “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them: “Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded that day. How will you respond to the gifts of the Holy Spirit this year?
As the Parish Nurse, I encourage you to respond to them in a healthy manner, by taking care of your body, mind, and soul. This week I would like to talk about two gifts in particular and how you can use them for your better health and happiness. The gift of knowledge gives us spiritual “know-how” and helps us to recognize, through God’s grace, what will be helpful to us and what will be harmful to us. And since, we don’t exist as pure spirits, we use this knowledge to take care of our bodies and minds as well.
Counsel is the gift that sharpens our judgment so that we perceive the course of action that will most benefit us spiritually. This gift moves us to choose that action which is most helpful and reject that action which is most harmful. For example, by the gift of knowledge we know that exercising 3 times a week is good for us and that sitting on the couch every evening for 3 hours is harmful to us. The gift of counsel guides us to decide to get up off the couch and to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
How do we do this? First by asking for the grace of knowledge and counsel so that we can become stronger and healthier and thus be better able to serve in God’s kingdom. Next we sit down and develop an action plan, a concrete series of steps that will let us take what we know and put that knowledge into action.
This week, pick an activity you want to do, the days of the week of the week you want to do it, and the time of the day you will do it. Then commit to it, and using your gift of free will, do it. If you find yourself not wanting to keep your commitment, thank God for the gift of knowing what you need to do to be healthy, and ask for the grace to do what you need to do to be healthy.
For all the men out there (and the women who love them), June is Men's’ Health Month and the month in which we celebrate Father’s Day. Wear Blue on June 16 – “Wear Blue Day” – to raise awareness for men to seek regular checkups, disease screening and preventative services. What better way to start on a healthier journey to the Father! When you feel yourself lagging in motivation, pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask for God’s will to be done. He will always have your best health interests at heart!
Visit https://www.ghc.org/healthAndWellness/?item=/common/healthAndWellness/conditions/diabetes/exercisePlan.html for more information about developing an action and https://www.ghc.org/static/kbase/hwxml/media/pdf/hw/form_zx3021.pdf for an action plan you can use.