In the Scriptures we encounter a man who’s half-dead on the side of the road. Twho who were “spiritual” saw him yet passed by him on the other side of the road. Along came a third ma, not quite as “spiritual,” who saw him and had compassion. HE bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine, and transported him to a place where he would be well cared for, covering all of the costs involved. Jesus then asks, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor?” They answer, “The one who showed him mercy,” to which Jesus replies, “You go, and do likewise.”
The point? Our neighbor is not necessarily someone we like or the person who lives next door, but is the one in need that God places in our path. This parable reveals our heart motives and priorities in how we relate to people. Those called to this vocation have the regular opportunity of coming alongside people in their greatest moments of crises and need—not only with their expertise and skill, but also by tending and treating patients as people created in God’s image with great value and for great purpose.
This story underscores that Jesus cares about people holistically—body, soul, and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23; 3 John 1:2). Healthcare is an extension of God’s heart for people—through wellness coaching and prevention, through medical and hospital care, or through wholeness of body, soul, and spirit. Those serving in this domain recognize the interconnectedness of our beings and how one area may affect the others.
The Scriptures teach that the body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). God has called and equipped some to help us “tend our temples”. They aid us in healthy eating, regularly exercising, and getting right amounts of sleep and rest—adding great value to our lives. Others help us walk in relational wholeness by helping us assess who “adds” to our live and who “takes” from us. Of course, we are to receive friendship, strength, and encouragement from some and give our lives in sacrifice and service to help others, so the issue is not either/or; the issue is balance. It’s the same with our time. Do you intentionally take a Sabbath and time to recharge? Have you built an adequate margin into your life for “down time,” or are you constantly “running on empty”?
God has called doctors, nurses, dentists, and medical professionals of all kinds to serve people. They help us with our hearts, eyes, teeth, skin, feet, allergies, knees, backs, and everything else that can possibly act up in our bodies. They have a God-given ability to take the knowledge they’ve received and combine it with the skills that they’ve been trained in to help physically heal and at times rescue lives. They, too, are an extension of God’s heart and hands of healing. Many become specialist, providing us with the understanding and unique care we need to be made well.
Some called by Jesus to this domain focus on wholeness of souls and spirit, and others on physical wellness. Counselors aim to aid people in getting on the inside—emotionally or spiritually—by combining their understanding of our souls with prayer. They wisely guide people out of the “stuck places” of their lives and into ones marked by joy, peace, courage, and hope—and health!
Reflection Points: the Character of God in Health, Medicine, and Wholeness
- Our Designer (Psalm 139:14-16)
- Our Maker (Psalm 95:6-7)
- Our Source of Care (Psalm 27:10; 1 Peter 5:6-7)
- The Giver of Life (Job 33:4)
- The Physician (Luke 8:43-48)
- The Healer (Exodus 15:26)
- Our Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
- Our Consoler and Comforter (Psalm 23:4; 94:19; 2 Cor. 1:3-4)
- Our Physical Trainer (Psalm 18:35; 1 Cor. 9:24-25; 1 Timothy 4:8)