Spiritual health is paramount

January 22, 2021 | 25 comments

A new acquaintance steeped in medical theory, was trying to convince me that physical health precedes mental and spiritual health. “I need to workout at the gym to keep my physical body healthy so that I can stay healthy in mind and spirit,” he argued.

His logic was backward, I pointed out. When one is healthy in mind and spirit, the physical body governed by that mind and spirit will be healthy too. If your “mind and spirit,” inspire you to workout at the gym, then so be it, I added. But the health you experience is not coming from the body. It’s coming from the Mind and Spirit of God that govern and created you in the first place.

It’s a common mistake, people believing health is physical, rather than spiritual. As Mary Baker Eddy pointed out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “The mental state is called a material state” (p. 411). But it’s always a mental state. What mortal mind calls a physical body, is a mental state. The best way to keep it in a good shape, is through healthy spiritual thinking and understanding of God.

Health is spiritual, not physical. It manifests itself as a healthy physical body, but the source of the health is never the body. It’s the Mind governing the body.

Seek mental and spiritual health above all else. The physical will follow.

25 thoughts on “Spiritual health is paramount”

  1. Thank you for this today Evan…just what I need to focus on right now too. With the continuing lock down situation, conversation about one’s ‘well being ‘ often harks back to what you eat, or what exercise you take. The media joins into this too incessantly. You have made it very clear and understandable here that our thought is the perpetrator of our being ,,it’s a case of realising what truly defines our experience.
    ‘Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying..’ this is the way, walk in it’ Isaiah 30;21.
    Spiritual walking ,(progress) not physical walking is the way.❣️

  2. I think you bring up an important point Evan. I love to go to the gym for Zumba. It has been almost a year since I have been to a gym. My Zumba teacher would have us come on stage and even teach the class. What was wonderful was the expression of love of dance and love of community in that group as they danced. But it is important to ask “why are we doing this?” I asked someone why they climbed mountains one time and they said back “to punish myself.” That should be a “what is going on here?” moment in thinking. And, it isn’t just exercise – what about work? The teacher who loves to teach has a much fuller life than the teacher who is there to collect a paycheck. You can apply this to any “activity” in your life. Is what you are “doing” about expressing your love for God and your community members? An overrunning cup of love? Or does it start from a “lack” of fitness?

    1. Very nice thoughts Kirsten. We need to make it about God, and not us. I love to work out in various ways to the point in the past where I was “making a God out of it.” I realized my error, but still wanted to work out. So now, before I do a physical activity, I thank God for the opportunity to express Soul and come up with a list of how; strength, joy, perseverance, grace, etc. Of course, there are other deeper thoughts, ideas, and prayers that need to go along with my list of expressions to really make the shift from physical work out and body to God centered expression.
      An interesting thing happened for me last spring. I had moved away from a beloved coastal community about a year before the pandemic to marry my husband and one of the cherished things I left behind was a dance fitness or Zumba class. I missed it terribly. Due to the pandemic, my friend and teacher started an online video class and now I get to participate again and “see” my friend/instructor several times a week (with the beach in the background!) Talk about a gift from God!

      1. Trista,
        That is great! What a nice demonstration of no lack, only good! Yes, we can express God in all our activities! 🙂 🙂

  3. Yes! What a powerful Truth to be learning. This is dear to me because I have been challenging this very thing the last year or so and have demonstrated some great progress regarding it. As mentioned in a comment above I love to work out to the point of, in the past, definitely making a physical “God” out of it. I’ve been praying and shifting my thought about this, according to laws laid out for us in Christian Science, such as mentioned in the blog post. I recently had an opportunity to demonstrate this. I had a pretty serious off -road motorcycle dirt bike accident followed by a very quick healing. Interestingly one of the first major fears I had after the accident was “I can’t work out!” Well I recognized the error immediately, and exclaimed I get to work out spiritually and mentally with God in deep study and prayer, which is what I joyfully did with the help of a practitioner. In just a few short days I was able to participate in an hour long, extremely strenuous full, body workout. This coming after the first night of complete inability to walk. Many spiritual lessons were learned from this experience of which I am very grateful for. One of the ideas I worked with, was the quote mentioned in the blog post on page 411 of Science and Health. We truly are Spiritual! We live out from God, Spirit, as expression and can demonstrate it. I’m so grateful to be on this journey with God. It’s full of opportunity to honor God as All.

  4. My practitioner/teacher always reminds me, “we do not exercise to be fit, we exercise because we are fit”
    Exercising our freedom to express movement, flexibility, activity, joy and so on. All which are qualities of God that we can express through exercise. Remembering in every moment it is all for the glory of God. Not for glorifying the physical body.
    Evan thank you so much for the powerful remarks and truths that you have shared and for the others that have commented. We are so blessed with this beautiful gift from God…Christian Science.
    Have a glorious day with God everyone

  5. I’m glad to see this topic addressed. I used to be confused about this and would ask things like, “do Christian Scientists take vitamins, use health foods, exercise” etc. I got different answers, and clarity has grown slowly about this. It seems key to understand that body is inert, unintelligent matter that doesn’t know anything and can’t do anything. It must and does respond to Spiritual Truth. I love the idea of expressing joy and freedom and other God qualities through movement and other physical activities, as spirit leads.

    As to food supplements, foods, massage, and other similar physical things, still gaining clarity. As Kirsten noted, it is the “why” that should be questioned. A blessed day to all!

    1. Rose, I love your statement or re-statement: “body is inert, unintelligent matter that doesn’t know anything and can’t do anything. It must and does respond to Spiritual Truth.” When I read this, I added the body (any condition) has no power to resist expressing health. Super helpful.

  6. I asked my teacher about this during class instruction many years ago. I was doing a dancercise class at the time – a kind of zumba before zumba was really heard of. He said “it all depends on your motive for doing it”. I have never forgotten that. I also used to think of a sentence from the Bible ‘praise the Lord in the dance’ – so I did – joyfully!

    1. Linda thanks for your comments. I too recall saying to my self in regards to dance: “I don’t dance to become happy. Rather I am happy ( God’s gift) therefor I dance.

  7. Loved this, Evan! It applies to so many aspects of how we view ourselves and our activities, and is a very important topic to examine thought about. Thanks to all previous commenters, too.

  8. Thank you Evan, and all the wonderful comments.
    Yesterday and today I was lead to my bookmarks on my JSH app. I had bookmarked a lot of Sentinel watch and podcasts about weight loss. I was lead to read and listen to them. Some in which Evan is in.
    Today’s blog. went right along with all these. I am so grateful for all the wonderful helpful healings.
    Thank you God for all your blessings.

  9. Science and Health refers to “ the exercise of the Mind faculties”. I have asked about this many times and never got a significant answer. You clarified this in this blog.
    Exercise of Mind faculties uses intelligence,
    Strength, poise and direction. If we express these qualities in work or sports we are exercising our capacity for good.

  10. Wow, your logic and clarity of thought is so specific and according to Principle!
    You make the ideas seem so DOABLE even for a beginner. But also, your lucidity is very affirmative for the long-time student.
    Thank you, Evan, for the integrity you bring to the office of the Christ practice.

  11. I love Milton Simon’s article, “Is it all in your thinking?” He states, ‘Christian Science practitioners hear patients say, when troubled with an illness or other problem, “I know it’s all in my own thought.” Such individuals are cruel to themselves.’ He clearly states, “A human being is what he thinks. His consciousness is what he is. Nothing comes into his experience unless his thought admits it.” But he clearly states again, that error is not our thinking. I think I have struggled so much with thinking I had to get ‘my’ thoughts straight when there is one Mind. Erroneous ideas are not ‘mine’ because they are not from God. So, I love to exercise. But to exercise my God given birthright is of utmost important. “Human codes, scholastic theology, material medicine and hygiene, fetter faith and spiritual understanding. Divine Science rends asunder these fetters, and man’s birthright of sole allegiance to his Maker asserts itself.”

    (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 226:18)

  12. Thank you SO much for today’s blog, Evan. So very many of my friends, acquaintances and even family, think the same way as your acquaintance does. I hear it constantly. It is so refreshing and vital to focus, as you said, on the fact that health is spiritual, not physical. Thank you, thank you!

  13. Thank you Evan for this clear spiritual reasoning. So glad you were able to share it with your acquaintance. I bet it gave him food for thought. You planted a seed. Gave me encouragement to share more freely the Truth. (=

  14. Turning to God as my Creator for all the right ideas I need, I get all the right manifestation to every types of care and well being with right result shown. Simple fact that God is Divine Mind, the Only Mind I have. All good..

  15. Blessed today with this fitness. Blessed today with work which I am so happy to do. “A working man sleeprth no matter where he lay.”
    I have been a hard working man my whole life long. Never had to seek out exercise, but found plenty expressing useful hours engaging in useful projects.
    Thanks to everyone sharing their expression of fitness. Jog, hike, swim, climb, mostly express your spirit!

  16. I’m reading this Saturday morning. I’m wondering if the photo was taken in the Andes where the sweater was knitted. The woman is so full of joy-shine. I feel like we all joyfully ‘worked out’ from God together with the ideas in all the posts. My thanks to everyone for their comments even though they may not return to read it. I especially appreciate, Evan, how your reply to a new acquaintance that his thinking was backward was kindly offered and I imagine your smile and a mild chuckle that went with it. I will ‘work out’ to eliminate the mildest criticism from my thinking to be able to exercise similar grace toward my own and others’ backward logic about health and fitness That’s the lesson to me. And since it rained yesterday and rain is forecast for tomorrow, I’m going to take a bike ride on this sunny Saturday, filled with and grateful for these beautiful ideas.

  17. This may be out of order, but I’m interested in another CS Calloway. Not a name I run into often. Especially spelled with an o instead of an “a”. Any thoughts Deborah? Your married name?
    Again, I apologize if this is not appropriate.

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