The other day I was thinking about people who have received a bad report from a doctor. It may not have been a report of some type of cancer or the shutdown of kidneys, but nonetheless it was a report that said the person was going to die sometime within the next few months if they didn’t make some immediate changes. While there have been some who have ignored the changes that the doctor told them to make, for the most part people have made those changes no matter how inconvenient or distasteful they may have been and thereby extended their life beyond the months the doctor indicated. The “doctor said …”, and they listened.
People may not like change especially when it infringes upon the conveniences, comforts and the lifestyle they enjoy, but many have a distaste or fear of dying that is stronger than the changes they would have to make that propels them to change. In fact, many don’t want to wait for the doctor’s report to make changes and will attempt to be proactive by going to the gym, start jogging, change their diet, or even integrate various herbs and nutrients as a replacement for any medical treatments or prescriptions. Either way they’ve felt the need to make changes to both extend and to enhance their life.
What I find interesting is that people will make changes when a doctor tells them they will die soon if they don’t, even if the changes are hard, difficult or very distasteful, but when Jesus speaks it figuratively goes in one ear and out the other. We tend to put more stock in what a doctor says than what Jesus says, but Jesus is the Great Physician who created us. When Jesus tells us we need to make some changes in our life to make ourselves ready for His soon return or get left behind, why is it that it is so easy for us to push it aside and ignore it? Just because He tells us to love and forgive others, or to flee all malice and sexual immorality, or to think only on that which is true, pure and just, or to let go of anything that He believes gets in the way of our relationship with Him, why do we ignore it when it could be the very things that keeps us from a good, healthy relationship with Him and eternity? What about those instructions we find in the Bible to be faithful to church, reading His word, and to be a person of prayer and thanksgiving?
Notice I said that which He believes gets in the way of our relationship with Him? It isn’t an issue of whether or not we think it gets in the way because the real issue is whether or not He thinks it does. One of the traps we tend to fall into is to think that we know best as to what does or does not get in the way of our relationship with Him, or even what is or is not acceptable in His sight. We have a tendency to not only think we know what’s best, but also to think even subconsciously that we are exempt from some of things He tells us to change. In thinking like that we are in essence pushing aside what the Bible and Jesus tells us regarding the way we need to live.
Do you see yourself in this article? Are you one that values the opinion and instructions of a doctor or health professional over and above what God tells us through the Bible? Is physical, emotional or mental health more important to you than your spiritual health? One way to know is to see how much we as individuals discount as necessary or important the things we’re told in the Bible, verses what our doctors or health professionals tell us? Are we more apt to cut out caffeine and some other types of food to extend our life, or are we more apt to cut out various behaviors or activities that will help strengthen and deepen our walk and relationship with Jesus?
Spend some time in prayer and ask God to show you where you fit into this. Ask Him to show you what is most important to you as well as how you make those determinations. Is it based on what a doctor or health professional says, or is it based on what you think and “feel” is best, or is it based on what God tells us through His word the Bible? Think about this and be open to make any changes that God may ask or require of you. After all, your eternal destination hinges on it. “Doctor said …”, or “Jesus says …”? Which will it be?