“Sometimes we are deeply resistant and even outright reject the medicine that leads to our healing.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 2, 2023
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 John 1:2, ESV
Our family dog is not well. After a severe bout of pancreatitis, she found herself at death’s door. Mercifully, especially for the sake of my young children, she is slowly returning to health, with eleven pills a day from the vet doing their job.
That said, as she recovers her strength, our dog is increasingly resistant to the idea of eleven pills going down every day! In truth, it has become an all-out battle, with her fleeing to another room as soon as she sees us move toward the pill bottles. At this point, you may be wondering why I’ve invited you into this domestic scene. Well, as we’ve walked this road to recovery with our dog as a family, I can’t help but reflect on the parallels to our own life and spiritual health.
Sometimes we are deeply resistant and even outright reject the medicine that leads to our healing.
Healing and restoration are closely linked to trust. In fact, without trust, one will never receive their diagnosis and prescription as a path to rehabilitation but will instead reject it in favor of their own understanding. Of course, our canine friend is unable to reason at this level. Taking her medicine is unpleasant, which is all the reason she needs to reject it! Yet God has given humans the gift of reason and wisdom, inviting us to discern what is good, beautiful, and true.
And so, even though it may be painful and challenging at the moment, we follow the doctor’s orders and take our medicine, trusting their training and knowledge and believing it to be for our good.
While we widely accept this medical guidance for the good of our bodies, we as a people are far more resistant to the idea of a spiritual doctor who cares for our souls.
By default, most of us live a self-directed spirituality. This is the downside of an over-emphasis on a “personal relationship with Christ.” Yes, the Lord can and should be known in a personal and intimate way, yet we are members of his body, and it is within the life of the community that we are made healthy and whole. As such, an essential component of this health is following the guidance of trusted spiritual leaders.
Simply put, do you have someone in your life – a pastor, priest, counselor, spiritual director, close friend – to whom you can look for regular spiritual guidance, and most importantly, whose diagnosis and direction you trust and will follow?
This is vital, and without it, we run a risk of an inaccurate diagnosis, believing our souls to be healthy when in fact, they are beset by many sins that lead us in the way of death. Entrust your soul to a wise and seasoned spiritual mentor, and difficult though it often may be, receive the healing and life that comes from taking your medicine!
Father, give us the gift of spiritual guides and mentors in the faith, and help us to trust their input and leadership as for our good and the healing of our souls and bodies, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Is your faith overly self-directed? Consider how you can come under the care and guidance of a wise and trustworthy mentor in the faith.
All Sons & Daughters: All the Poor and Powerless
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