The White House briefing room was swarming with reporters last Tuesday afternoon, all of them eager to hear the results of President Donald Trump’s recent physical.
For more than an hour, the mainstream media grilled White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and President Trump’s doctor — Rear Adm. Dr. Ronny Jackson — about the chief executive’s physical and mental health.
What were the results? Despite the fact that Trump has an affinity for McDonald’s hamburgers, KFC, and Diet Coke, the president is in excellent health and should have no problem executing the duties of his office throughout the remainder of his term.
But as a pastor, as I listened to the physician report on the president’s physical health, I was reminded of the way in which the Bible calls us to evaluate our own spiritual health. The passage 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves …”
If we were subjected to a “spiritual health” exam, would we pass the test? How would we know if we’re spiritually healthy? As we search the Word of God, here are seven unique benchmarks we ought to consider as we evaluate our own spiritual standing:
1.) Head. What kind of content are you bringing into your mind on an average day? Do you make time for reading, studying, meditating on the truth of the Bible? Are you letting “the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) — or are you giving too much time to internet news, Netflix, television, and social media? Only the Scriptures have the power to transform you “by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
2.) Heart. What are you truly passionate about? Maintaining a fit physique? Moving up in your career? Marshaling more money into your bank account? The healthy Christian will have a yearning for God — not only to know Him but to love Him supremely. Jesus taught in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Does God have first place in your heart?
3.) Hands. When you aren’t laboring at work or at home, what do your hands find to do? Do you devote yourself to sports, hobbies, shopping? Is every free minute spent on yourself? The Bible commands in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Healthy Christians are always active in their local churches. Speak up — and your leaders can help you become “hands on” for the Lord.
4.) Feet. In ancient times, joy would erupt when a messenger came from far away bearing good news: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15). The Bible uses this analogy to teach Christians about carrying the good news of the Gospel everywhere we go. Church attendance doesn’t save; religion doesn’t save. And morality doesn’t save. Only believing in Jesus Christ by faith can save us (John 3:16). Are you faithfully carrying this good news into your workplace, neighborhood and town?
5.) Eyes. Optometrists say our eyes are healthy when we are seeing 20/20. But the healthy Christian has eyes to see the spiritual and eternal, too. True Christians know there is more to life than just the here and now. A spiritual realm exists, too, and spiritual things count the most. Scripture says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Are your eyes healthy enough to see this?
6.) Ears. Many American husbands are accused of selective hearing — especially during the NFL playoffs. Their ears aren’t the problem; their hearing is. Five times in the Gospels, Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus teaches that a vibrant spiritual life happens as people genuinely listen and obey His Word. Are you truly “hearing” what Jesus has to say? Is your life characterized by spiritual responsiveness?
Every task in life is an opportunity to honor God by giving our best effort.
7.) Effort. As a father, I am constantly striving to instill a Christian work ethic into my six children. I want them to know it isn’t enough just to complete assigned tasks. Every task in life is an opportunity to honor God by giving our best effort. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” Consider the tasks before you this week. Will you tackle them with a zeal that glorifies God?
It was fascinating to watch the reporters interact with President Trump’s physician last week — from carbohydrates to cholesterol, there wasn’t a health topic these media types weren’t afraid to address. And while I was glad to hear that our commander-in-chief is in excellent health — both mentally and physically — I’m also glad that President Trump’s physical condition won’t be in the headlines again until next January.
I’ve got my own spiritual health to look after — as all of us do.
Pastor Ryan Day is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he has served for 18 years.
Last Modified: January 26, 2018, 9:41 am