While flipping through a newspaper this week, I glanced through an ad for losing weight written by a clinic of doctors who specialized in treating obesity. Half-way through the text I stopped reading, a bit dazed by one of their assertions.
The ad stated, “Only a doctor can help you.”
I know millions of people put total faith in doctors, but I hadn’t read such a wide-sweeping and absolute affirmation by doctors for faith in their own expertise.
The motive of this group of physicians was obviously to build business, and bring profit and customers their way. But the assertion that only they could help seemed over the line to me. I know many people, including myself, who have successfully lost weight without any help from a doctor.
I saw the ad as a blatant and aggressive form of mental manipulation that needed to be guarded against.
My spiritual sense of things rebelled and protested, “Where is God in all of this?”
Doctors have done, and are doing, much good for humanity. The doctors I know are wonderful people, caring, unselfish and truly committed to alleviating suffering and pain the best way they know. But there are many other people in society who do wonderful good for humanity too. And then there is God as well.
When I read the words, “Only a doctor knows best,” what I really saw was, “A doctor is god.”
Because of this aggressive mental suggestion that a doctor, and only a doctor, can address health needs, I welcome all signs of God and prayer getting back into the sick room. People suffering from obesity, or any claim of disease, need more than physical change. It’s typically a deep moral and spiritual transformation that truly meets the need. Experience proves that the outward man reforms as the inner man reforms. Spiritual healing facilitates this kind of improvement, and long lasting positive results come, not from a scalpel or pill or procedure, but from genuine spiritual growth, humility, and increased spiritual mindedness.
The ad would have served its constituency better if it had stated, “Only God knows best.” And then went on to explain how workers at the clinic prayed first to know how to help their clients. This possibility probably didn’t cross the minds of those who wrote the ad, but I can say that I would trust a doctor more who started his practice from a basis of humility and meekness, rather than the position of “I know everything.”