Last time we discussed Jesus’ example of wholeness using “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 NIV. If you didn’t read that post, click here. So, let’s continue as we look at:
In her book Honoring God with Our Body, Katherine Pasour takes readers on a journey to wellness beginning with Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV), “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” As God’s handcrafted and individualized creations, caring for our physical bodies is a loving response and a responsibility to our Creator. How we care for our bodies is an individual plan. It may include reducing junk food, decreasing calories, balanced eating, or preferred forms of exercise. It will include rest and refreshment. Sandra Dalton Smith, in her book, Sacred Rest, challenges us to realize that sleep may not mean our body has rested.
Favor with God
Do you remember a coach’s or teacher’s favorite when you went to school? Maybe a name or face popped up in your mind now😊. You remember-the student who played the position you wanted, the one who got the solo you knew you were qualified for, or even in first grade, the same child picked for line leader? Chosen just because the teacher or coach had a favorite.
God doesn’t have favorites, but He does express delight in us. Personally, that thrills me. At a writers’ conference several years ago, the keynote speaker encouraged conferees by quoting, “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3 ESV)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV) Finding His priorities for us, position us to delight in Him, and He in us. With singlemindedness and full attention, we live toward wholeness, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV) That second commandment leads us to
Favor with man
Human relationships are tricky because we’re human. Right; redundant, but that’s the point. Our earthly wisdom with its opinions and motives often leads to tense interpersonal relationships, self-centered decisions, and hurtful consequences.
Jesus never compromised truth or minimized challenging words. He developed relationships with people, because He reflected His heavenly Father. Everything He did and said with others came from His heart of love. For us to maintain peaceful interpersonal relationships we “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14 ESV), but we know peace depends on others too. We can only do our part. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18 ESV)
[Tweet “Although heart month is recognized as a time to focus on physical health and love, our response to follow Jesus’ cues to grow and love vertically and horizontally, leads us toward wholeness.”
]s one easier or more challenging for you? “Have a heart” and give us suggestions that have guided and helped you.
“And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.” (Luke 2:52 The Message)