Are You Weary or Well?
I want to be a full participant in God’s transforming work in this world. Many factors influence the effectiveness and endurance of my efforts, one of which is my overall health and well-being.
In my travels through life, I’ve seen my fair share of situations where effectiveness and endurance were sidetracked due to half-hearted effort, neglect or outright dismissal of the importance of positive personal health practices.
- In my professional life in the workplace wellness industry, I’ve seen a 30-year old HR manager lose focus at work because she worried her frazzled lifestyle, driving her high blood pressure at such a young age, might shorten her time to invest in her children.
- In my family life, I’ve seen a dear relative whose primary focus at family gatherings was not on building relationships, but on figuring out when and how he could smoke his next cigarette.
- In my own life, I must admit that I’ve often overlooked the need to manage stress and get adequate sleep and have seen the negative impact on my ability to serve my clients well.
These situations, and many others like them, are why I am passionate about wellness on both the individual and the organizational level.
As a member of the body of Christ, I’m called to a life of service – to play my small part in transforming the world for Christ by using my gifts effectively and with endurance. I’m called to serve this way even as I face the rapid change that requires almost constant adaptation, the common trouble (John 16:33) with living in a fallen world, and the specific attacks of the enemy (1 Pet. 5:8) who seeks to derail my efforts. There is no question that maintaining a healthy lifestyle in these circumstances can be difficult.
Is my lifestyle magnetic for Christ, or am I a mismanaged mess?
As a wellness professional, fellow traveler and a Christ-follower, I have learned that:
- Effectiveness and endurance requires gaining and sustaining energy
If I’m going to do my kingdom work with effectiveness and endurance, I need energy – a limited resource that does not come from nowhere. Gaining the energy to serve well and sustain that service over time requires that I make regular investments in positive personal health habits.
- Gaining and sustaining energy requires small, consistent effort
I love a good health overhaul TV show – the story of a person who made a big change in a short amount of time. But my study of behavioral research, and my professional and personal experience, has shown me that the opposite approach is most effective. To gain and sustain energy, it is most effective to focus on the consistent practice of small, smart and strategic health habits that fit into one of the four key areas of health: Eat, Move, Cope and Rest.
- Small, consistent effort supports my overall mission
Sometimes the effort of making small investments in my health doesn’t feel very spiritual. But I know that my mission includes how I conduct myself in every aspect of my life, including the way I live in and through my body, mind and spirit that is impacted by the effects of living in a fallen world. After all, in Scripture, I’m called an ambassador (2 Cor. 5:20) – a person who represents. When people look at me, and the way I manage the level of health and well-being God has entrusted to me, what do they see? Am I weary or well? Is my lifestyle magnetic for Christ, or am I a mismanaged mess? Do I enjoy living life within my physical being or is it a burden?
As I consider my own health journey, I’m thankful that:
- God breathed life into me, giving me a body, mind and spirit to give back to him for his purposes.
- God is willing to work through me despite my sins, mistakes and weaknesses while challenging and equipping me to conquer them.
- Every day, God gives me a new opportunity to try again.
Wherever you are today, please join me in leaving yesterday’s health decisions behind and moving forward. Take one small, smart and strategic step towards healthier living in the name of personal, organizational and cultural transformation, for the glory of God!
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.