On Being and Becoming (ever-increasingly) a More Integrated Human Being – Part Two

Greetings, friends…

This is Part Two of the small blog series I began last week.

From Part One…

For us to function on a more harmoniously integrated level requires first and foremost an understanding that both our material and immaterial parts are extremely important and that they’re intended to operate as one integrated whole. In fact, and this may seem (even though it isn’t) contrary to Scripture, our material and immaterial parts are equally important. To believe or say one aspect or arena of our lives is more important than the other is like trying to convince ourselves (and others) that our digestive system is more important than our cardio-vascular system (or vice versus). Such a notion is not just untrue but destructive. In fact, such false, systemic (system-wide) beliefs underlie much of our dis-integratedness as human beings.

And now, Part Two…

When you begin to truly internalize that you are a composite being, and yet one whole, where the material fades into the immaterial and vice versus, listening to the material parts of you becomes more readily accessible.

In the Call-to-action of Part One, I urged you to do some stream of consciousness writing, where you did your utmost to differentiate between your material and immaterial sides. If your results were similar to mine than you probably discovered that it’s not that easy to identify clearly the dividing line between the material and immaterial, the physical and the mental/spiritual. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. In discovering/discerning this within your own personhood, the notion of following Jesus spiritually and not physically begins to make less and less sense. Also the notion that the healing Jesus offers us is really only a spiritual healing and doesn’t include physical healing also begins to be identified for what it is: A lie.

If you look at most organizations dedicated to transforming people’s lives, you’ll discover those organizations almost always begin with bringing the physical into alignment with the spiritual (and vice versus). A few examples of just such organizations are Alcoholic’s Anonymous, the Boy Scouts, the U.S. Marines, and most monasteries.

Most Christians I know–and I’m talking about most of them–love Jesus and want to love and serve H-him and H-his people well. Those very same Christians are often wildly out of shape and live out lifestyle choices that, to me, dishonor the person Jesus created them to be. Why is this? I believe the answer is found in the belief system I mentioned above, where we discount the physical and focus on the spiritual. This then motivates us to pursue what we believe to be the things of the Spirit and neglect the things we believe to be the things of the natural (or physical). In a sense, we continually erect a false dividing wall of hostility that, for us, separates “the (so-called) sacred” from “the common.” The problem with that approach is this: In God’s economy, there’s no such dividing wall. To God, all created things are sacred. We routinely make the sacred profane by cursing it (discounting it, diminishing it, rejecting it, etc.) rather than embracing and attending to it.

Our health and healing as people are dependent upon BOTH God and us. God is our healer; the body God gave us is also our healer; and, further, we, through our lifestyle choices are our healer. To be healed requires us to partner with God in our healing. If we’re not feeling well, there’s always a reason. Always. The body God gave us is designed to move toward healing. Except when it dies, the body is always moving toward health, healing, and the preservation and bolstering of life. Always. The problem is that we, through our lifestyle choices, hinder our body’s God-given ability to move toward healing and the preservation and bolstering of life. We cause ourselves harm by (1) engaging in unhealthy things (things we DON’T need) and (2) by not engaging in healthy things (the things we DO need).

For most people, until they see this, any efforts they undertake to feel better, loose weight, get in shape, bolster their energy, etc., will be limited in their effects. That’s why I keep urging you to rethink your belief systems not just about health and healing but about how the material is just as important as the immaterial. In the next post we’re going to look, of course, and some particular arenas where we can all begin to listen to and take greater care of our physical selves. Before that, though, we need to hear God speak to us about our false beliefs: Beliefs that tell us (and that set in our neurology) that God’s much more concerned with the immaterial parts of you than with the material parts. My friends, God’s concerned with ALL of you–AS A WHOLE PERSON–period.

Today’s MRL Maxim: Rather than referring to your physical body as being something separate from who you are, why not start referring the physical expressions of who you are as just that? The physical–or embodied–expressions of who you are. Just as God is One, so are you.

Today’s MRL Call-to-action: Ask God the following questions: “Jesus… What are one or two false things I believe (or fail to believe) about my oneness as a whole person? What does it mean to be whole and healthy? How would you define such a condition?”