As we think about our health and well-being, what are some of the things that prevent us from achieving optimal health? Many times, we put ourselves and our health on a list of non-priority activities. We care for our families and our jobs; we are involved in a multiplicity of church and community activities and the list goes on. But do we take the time out to plan for our health and well-being?

Did you know that health is your greatest wealth? It is indeed a blessing and an invaluable gift. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The first wealth is health.” Without it, we cannot function well to fulfill our God-given purpose, take care of ourselves and others, and do the things we love.

We complain, “Oh, it’s so expensive to eat healthy! I too busy, I ain’ have no time to exercise! I have too much work to do so I ain’ have no time to sleep!” Lee Swanson said, “If you think the pursuit of good health is expensive and time-consuming, try illness.” 

Herophilus broke it down nicely when he said, “When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”

So, let’s do a lil checkup using NEW START to see how well you are caring for yourself:

Nutrition –Are you choosing to eat real whole foods that will truly bring nourishment to your body? Yes, we get in three meals (or more) daily but are they promoting your health or are they making you sick?

Exercise –Are you daily engaging in physical activities and exercise that will help to energize and strengthen your body and keep you fit?

Water – Are you choosing to drink mainly water instead sugar sugar-sweetened beverages (like sodas)? Water is the God-made and God-given beverage to adequately hydrate your body.

Sunlight – Are you choosing to bask in the sunlight regularly for at least 20 minutes?

Temperance – Are you choosing to use in moderation the things that are good for you and abstaining from the things that are not good for you?

Air – Are you choosing to breathe in fresh air that will invigorate your lungs and oxygenate your body, or do you spend more time in air conditioning?

Rest – Are you choosing to get enough rest and sleep appropriate for you? Are you allowing your body to be healed and restored?

Trust in God – Are you choosing to spend time with your God in daily devotions – prayer and Bible study? Are you trusting in Him for everything?  

Today, across the Inter-American Division, we celebrate Health Ministries Emphasis Day. We exist to promote a healthy lifestyle within the church and its social environs. Remember that your body is the temple of the Lord. It is His desire that we prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. When it becomes difficult, or challenging be assured that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

So, how much is your health worth to you? I wish to extend my gratitude to all our Health ministry leaders, healthcare professionals, and lay persons who work tirelessly and sacrificially in helping to advance the health message. May God forever bless you and your ministries.

-Shandera Smith, Health Ministries Director , South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists