You’re tired, you don’t feel well, and you want some help. You come to see me in my office, hoping I will have an answer. Part of you hopes some test will be abnormal to explain why you feel the way you do, and that there is a pill to make everything OK again.

How I wish I could fulfill your hopes! I wish I could fix you. That would make your life, and mine, so much easier.

Occasionally there is a quick answer. But most of the time it’s a matter of you and me figuring things out together. And then it comes down to you taking responsibility for doing what you can for your own wellbeing.

Here are a few things I’d like to tell you:

  1. Your thoughts play a bigger role in your health than you think. If you believe you’re sick or believe you’re well, you’re probably right. If you believe you either can or can’t get better, it’s probably true. Thoughts have a powerful influence on your physical body.
  2. Nothing can counteract the effects of eating poorly and not exercising. Basic health habits are absolutely necessary for your body, mind, and soul to function correctly. If you improve your diet and start moving, you will almost certainly feel better.
  3. Spending lots of money is not necessary to live well. You don’t need expensive nutritional supplements, gym memberships, health coaches, and lifestyle doctors to be healthy. You can probably do 95% of what you need to do for free. And you know most of what you need to do already.
  4. Relationships affect your health. A destructive marriage, a bad work environment, caring for difficult children and/or elderly relatives – no pill can fix the negative impact on your health. But happy family relationships and good friends can do a lot to keep you well.
  5. I can tell a lot about your character by your physical body. If you have spent much time being angry, resentful, and bitter, your body will be rapidly aging, often with signs of destructive inflammation. If you have been mostly happy and courageous, your body may be worn but it will be resilient and strong even when under stress.
  6. You can change. Doing one thing – eating better, getting enough sleep, forgiving someone who wronged you, working on your difficult marriage – will make you healthier and feel better in every other area as well.
  7. God is on your side. He cares enough about you to help you deal with whatever area of life you need to. He loves you just the way you are, but He also loves you too much to let you stay there. You can trust Him to be with you in the best possible way.

Maybe I don’t wish I could give you a quick fix after all. Then you would miss out on the amazing and fulfilling journey of learning to live well, and experiencing how God helps you do so.

Let’s work on it together.

Your turn: Is there something you wish your doctor would tell you? What is one thing you can do to feel better today? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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