Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

coins-1015125_1920Since we are created with a body, soul and spirit, to ignore any one part results in an unbalanced life. To live a balanced life, we must attend to all parts of who we are. Because our culture focuses so much on our bodies, it is difficult to think holistically.

Weight obsession and physical fitness are national pastimes. Beauty and thinness are idolized and worshipped. And we abuse our bodies with lack of sleep, self-induced stress, alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy sexual practices. Basically, we have to fight against and undo these unhealthy physical practices.  So yes,it is important to eat healthy, exercise, get enough rest and reevaluate our behavior when it comes to habit and sexual practices. The body is a point of attention that has to be brought back into balance.

Because we have a soul, we must daily renew our minds with God’s truth, manage our emotions and stress, and work through relationship difficulties. Keeping our emotions in check regardless of circumstances and people is one of the greatest challenge to our sense of peace. But soul care is tied to spiritual care. Because we are spirit, we must know how to satisfy our spiritual hunger and longings through an intimate relationship with God. When this happens, it directly influences our emotions and mental health.

If you find yourself struggling with isolation, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, it may be that your spiritual life is out of balance. Spiritual beliefs and practices serve as a positive source of interpersonal strength. Spirituality improves health (Miller & Thoresen, 2003). And people who develop a deep sense of spirituality demonstrate better stress management, higher self-esteem, and greater interpersonal competence (Hill & Pargament, 2003).

So while the culture is obsessed with the physical body and emotional reactions, the spiritual part of our lives is often ignored and undeveloped, leaving us vulnerable to problems in the other two areas. Work on spiritual balance and see if the other parts of your life improves. To do so, consider these practices and engage in them as you would healthy eating and exercise.

Inward disciplines: Prayer, meditation, fasting, Bible study

Outward disciplines: Simplicity, solitude, service

Corporate disciplines: Worship, confession, celebration, hospitality

As you practice spiritual disciplines, your life will come in to balance because one part affects the whole. And the spiritual part is the most important to achieving balance in the others.

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