We all know that poor diet, lack of exercise and a poor life style will have an impact upon our bodies. We are also aware that worry, stress and bad thinking patterns will also have a detrimental effect upon our health. If we can choose a healthy lifestyle physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually our bodies will for the most part remain healthy. All of these are to some degree a matter of our own choice.

God said to Adam and Eve (1) that when they have an understanding of what is right and wrong, then this knowledge will cause them to die (2 ) prematurely. So what caused them to die before their allotted time?

Physiologically we know that the hypothalamus regulates the endocrine system of the body. So if a lion were to spring out at us, we will experience fear. This fear triggers the hypothalamus to send out messages to the correct glands to produce adrenalin for the body to spring into action and escape. But when fear is triggered by psychological reactions (something unreal) the body cannot use the adrenalin because there is nothing physically we can run from. This begins to take its toll on the body and causes the body to break down.

Likewise, we have an understanding of what is right and wrong, and when we begin to live in fear, guilt, shame, disgust, mistrust, bitterness etc., these emotions trigger the hypothalamus causing an imbalance that affects various parts of the body. These parts of the body then start to break down, become less resistant to germs and we experience sickness. Pastor Henry Wright has done some excellent work on the psychosomatic roots of diseases, all stemming from negative thoughts and beliefs (3). Unfortunately we all live in a world that is full of stress and fear.

God in his wisdom has given us guidelines on how to live, how to think and how to behave. He has chosen not to control our thinking. He has given us the freedom to choose. The choice is ours and if we could do it his way, our bodies would be less likely to become sick and secondly, when we do become ill we will have the ability to recover quickly.

When we are sick we quickly realise that something is wrong. We will then set out to correct it by firstly going to the doctor. Often only the symptoms are address. Medication may help to manage the sickness but what is needed is that the underlying reasons should also be addressed.

Sickness is the result of how we live; it is not God’s fault. It is our mismanagement of that which we have been given to look after. It is the result of living in a broken world.

1 Genesis 2:17

2 From the Hebrew word ‘mûth’ meaning ‘to cause to die before its time’

3 “A More Excellent Way” by Pastor Henry Wright