Column: The spiritual side of healthPublished 9:55am Wednesday, April 10, 2013
By Mike Sager
As a pastor in Mower County I am certainly concerned for the health of our community, and especially in connection with spiritual matters. Spirituality is a significant part of what many of us think of when we consider what it means to be human. Mind, body, and spirit (and/or soul) is often the way we describe our existence. It makes sense to consider spiritual practices when we think of what makes for an overall healthy community.
Harold Koenig writes:
“A large volume of research shows that people who are more Religious/Spiritual have better mental health and adapt more quickly to health problems compared to those who are less R/S. These possible benefits to mental health and well-being have physiological consequences that impact physical health, affect the risk of disease, and influence response to treatment… The majority of studies report significant relationships between R/S and better health.”
What can we do as a community to promote the spiritual side of health? Encouraging practices like prayer, worship, and reading scripture (private and public), providing practical needs to others are integral to faith, faith in action. These practices promote attitudes such as humility, kindness and a willingness to serve and sacrifice for others, which are godly, powerful building blocks for any community.
Faith communities are often made up of those involved in reaching out to fellow citizens in need, and serving the community in many ways. This comes from deep conviction and a commitment to serve God through serving others and is rooted in a rich history of the church tending to the health needs of communities.
Mower County is blessed by many faith communities engaging in practical ministries that positively impact the physical, mental and spiritual health of our citizens here and beyond the county lines. Food shelves located in churches, after school programs to help with homework, Wednesday evening programs, mission trips and organizations like the Salvation Army, Atlas and Rachel’s Hope are good examples of the church putting faith in action.
As we promote healthier living for Mower County, let’s be sure to include the practices that address the spiritual aspect of our existence and experience.
— Mower Refreshed guest columnist Mike Sager is the Senior Pastor at Faith Church in Austin and serves on the Mower Refreshed Steering Committee