We often hear people say, “By His stripes we are healed.” The impression raised from this statement, which was taken from 1Pet 2:24 and Isa 53:5 is, “Don’t worry about viruses and bacteria, don’t be afraid of hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and other diseases.” This is usually added with a statement that the Lord has borne our infirmities or diseases (Isa 53:4). It means viruses and bacteria are no longer able to infect the body of the believers. This description is completely misleading and damaging the life of God’s children. From 1Pet 2:24, actually we can see clearly that the disease which is healed by Jesus’ stripes is the disease of sin.
We don’t doubt God’s healing power at all; but this does not mean we are allowed to live recklessly and pay no attention about how to take proper care of our body. In the Bible we can find how God strictly commanded his chosen people—the Israelites—about eating only clean food (Lev 11:1-31). Paul also gave an advice to Timothy, his spiritual son, to drink a little wine for his health (1Tim 5:23). The New Testament never suggest that we may ignore the health of our body.
If we don’t take proper care of our body, we deserve to worry: no wonder we will be sick or die young. Maintaining a healthy body involves several things: healthy meal pattern, regular exercises, ample water, sufficient morning sunshine, ability to control our emotions, avoiding stress, plenty of fresh air for us to breathe, etc. After our maximum effort of taking care of our health (even though it is not perfect), then we can throw our worry away.
One day, a preacher told me directly that we have to pray before our meal, so that the cholesterol content in the food we eat doesn’t harm our body anymore. I am strongly against this statement. It is deceitful, because a person reaps what he sows (Gal 6:7). Surely everything we eat impacts our body. It is better to prevent than to cure, because medicines laden with chemicals certainly have side effects on our body. The habit to take a good and proper care of our body will keep us safe from diseases, physical suffering which troubles many people around us, and wasting our money. It will also prevent us from dying young. God’s power will not preclude us from diseases, if we fail to take responsibility of our own body’s health.
This is a translation of a devotional from TRUTH Daily Enlightenment, No. 60/July Edition. TRUTH is now available in Indonesian language. For subscription or more information, please contact (021) 68 70 7000 or 08 7878 70 7000.