Question of the Week #3: How do you strengthen the relationship between your spirit and your body?
Let’s come back to the idea of purpose later. For now, we have established that achieving physical health is a journey. But instead of a journey of one, think of it more like a partnership between your physical self and your spiritual self. One does not exist independent of the other, but rather the two parts work together in relationship to make up the uniqueness that is YOU. The spiritual side is the driving force behind your actions, and the physical body is the machine by which these actions are carried out. All the thoughts, ideas, beliefs, preconceptions and motives of your spiritual life will dictate the actions of your physical life. But, at the same time, the state of your physical self can influence what your spiritual side can and wishes to accomplish. The familiar phrase from Matthew 26, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”, while speaking to the issue of temptation, also illustrates the idea that your physical body can limit the capabilities of the spiritual will. In order for you to operate effectively, the relationship between the two parts needs to be strong.
So the question then becomes, how do I make the relationship strong? I think we all know the answer to that question. WORK! Every solid relationship takes some degree of work. Yes, some relationships come easier than others. Some people are easy to love while others require patience and a heavy dose of “tongue-biting”. In the same way, some people can say to their bodies, “let’s get going”, and the body happily responds, while for others getting the body moving is like trying to wake the dead. Whatever the type of person you are, understanding the importance of cultivating this relationship between the spirit and the body and learning how best to do this will give you the greatest opportunity for long-term success in striving for optimal physical health. To further illustrate this, we will focus on four major components to a healthy relationship (Commitment, Sacrifice, Time, and Prayer) and discern how these principles applied in the major relationships of our lives parallel those of our spiritual and physical lives.