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Spiritual Health
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you back to our daily devotions. We’ve been talking with Dr. Walt Larimore about physical, the mental, emotional, and the relationships that really affect our health. We’re going to go to even a deeper level now, and that’s the spiritual level. I want us to talk about how the spiritual level (our relationship there) affects health. That sounds funny, and I don’t know. Let me just ask you this basic question. How does science do that? I mean, is there any kind of scientific evidence that there’s a spiritual underpinning for our health?

Walt Larimore: It’s stunning. There are now over 4,000 studies in the medical literature that looks at the relationship between positive spirituality and physical, emotional, and relational health. What those studies show is there’s an intricate and intimate relationship. People who are healthy spiritually have better physical, emotional, and relational health. I define a positive spirituality (which is the term I coined in the medical literature) in two ways.
Positive spirituality is spirituality that benefits the person and others around them. Positive spirituality isn’t spirituality that blows up people or harms people, but it’s healthful spirituality that results in the measurable fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Sammy: The fruit of the Spirit.
Walt: The fruit of the Spirit. I can go into secular environments and talk about positive spirituality and the studies that show people who have that do better physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually. Now it’s clear to Christians we’re talking about biblical spirituality because the research shows that is the one that is most highly helpful.
Sammy: To develop that kind of a relationship… Here’s a person. I’m thinking about a guy who maybe came to know Christ when he was a young person. He asked Christ in his heart, but his life is still a mess. You know, emotionally he is a basket case. Relationally it’s very dysfunctional. How does he develop a spiritual basis to help him?
Walt: I like to think of it this way, Sammy. Think of that spiritual health as a wheel, if you would, with four spokes. This illustration comes from a fellow named Dawson Trotman. In fact, his two grandsons are working on the crew with us today. Dawson is who taught me this spiritual wheel. The hub of that is a personal relationship with God through Christ. You cannot have spiritual health until you first have established that relationship with God through Christ, inviting him into your life, trusting him.  Once he is in, once his Spirit has adopted you, inhabits you, then the potential for spiritual health is there. The vertical spokes of that wheel are our relationship with God. I think of two critical spokes. One of them is spending that time with God and his Word on a daily basis. God speaks to me through his Word, and I’ve got to ingest that, take that in on a daily basis. Then prayer. That’s talking with him. So talking with him (prayer, conversation), and then listening with him through his Word. That builds my relationship with him. I call that the vertical spoke, if you will.
Then there’s the horizontal spoke. That’s got to be balanced in two ways. One is my relationship with other believers, my relationship with Christians. That’s my fellowship with them, my church time, my Sunday school time, my small group time.
Sammy: Even the mentoring relationship.
Walt: Absolutely! But then that has to be balanced with my relationship with non-believers. The Bible makes it clear to me that I need to invest in both of those arenas. My spiritual health is dependent upon investing in people outside of the kingdom. Now the Bible calls that evangelism, but it’s relationships at work, and it’s relationships with neighbors.
Those four spokes together… In fact, in the assessment tool, we measure those to see if we come up short. I find in my life I have to reevaluate those spokes on a frequent basis to be sure I’m not getting out of balance.
Sammy: You know, balance is a key word here. The balanced life is a healthy life. You know, when I look at Jesus, he was the most balanced human being who ever walked the face of the earth. I mean, you just look at his life. I mean, there was so much balance. Sometimes people think it’s contradiction. It’s not contradiction. It’s balance. I want to encourage you to develop that kind of a balanced life. Tomorrow we’re going to talk about some things that may help you to develop that kind of spirituality.

Galatians : Chapter 5
16)  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17)  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19)  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20)  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21)  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23)  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24)  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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