by Esther Thomas
As Christians we aim to prioritise our spiritual health, but often neglect our physical and mental health, and how these all intertwine together to make up our whole being. The greatest and first commandment in Mark 12:30 says “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength”. In this Verse Jesus is asking us to love God spiritually, emotionally, mentally & physically, with our ‘whole’ being. The love that’s spoken about in the scriptures is not just a feeling, but it’s a doing word, an action of service. So, if we talk about loving God with our whole selves, we’re talking about serving God with our whole selves. The second commandment that Jesus gives directly after this in Mathew 12:31 is to “Love your neighbour as yourself” He says there is “no other commandments greater than these.” So, we are called to love (serve) God, and to Love (serve) others, with all of our heart, soul, mind & strength.
So, what does this look like practically? And how can we do this well?
I want to set a scene. And let me premise this with that our walk with God is a journey, and God has so much grace for us for where we fall short, but He also wants the best for us & for us to be able to serve Him & others well.
You work a stressful job that requires a lot of your time, you come home exhausted and make dinner for yourself, your spouse and/or children, clean up and flop into bed, then rinse & repeat the next day. Your margin is very small, you physically feel tired all of the time, and have very little time for much else. You go to church on a Sunday (if you’re up to it) and feel you have too much going on to serve in the church community, but you feel this desire to see broken teens come to know God, and every time you see them when you’re out doing things that aren’t reflecting Him this desire to reach them burns in you. But you are just too exhausted to do anything about it.
This is a random scenario, but a familiar one. Maybe the situations are different for you, but you feel the underlying desire of “I wish I had more time” or “I wish I had more energy”.
Maybe you’re suffering from gut issues, or anxiety, or brain fog, or headaches, or poor sleep – just to name a few things, and this is preventing you from doing the things you know God wants you to do (I’ve been there!), or even more you’re struggling to hear from God amidst your foggy brain and low motivation.
These are very real circumstances that many of us have struggled with. Sometimes there can be genetic aspects to these things, or there can be underlying diseases causing these issues which is challenging and heartbreaking at times. But I’d argue that most of the time for most of us (and certainly my clinical experience) it comes down to how we’re looking after ourselves – Physically (our lifestyle & diet), spiritually (how much time we are spending in God’s presence), emotionally (how we are regulating & processing through our emotions) and mentally (renewing our mind through God’s word, seeking counsel etc).
If our physical body is struggling, we are almost always affected spiritually & emotionally. If our mental health is struggling, then usually this affects our physical body & our spiritual health. If we are feeling spiritually dry, then usually we feel this physically, mentally & emotionally as well. We are interconnected, each part makes up our whole.
As Christians who are called to love & serve God & others with our whole selves, we have a responsibility to look after & nurture our whole selves to the best of our ability.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 paraphrased says “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, so glorify God in your body”. We have a responsibility to look after our body (physical, emotional, spiritual & mental), in order to give glory to God & show the world the life, peace, joy & freedom that is found in Him.
We need to be examples to the world. We need to be evaluating how we can improve our physical health through lifestyle changes & eating in a way that is nurturing & bringing life & vitality to our bodies. We need to be spending time with God in His word & presence so that we are reminded of His truth & the hope & peace that is found in Him, so that this can then overflow onto the world around us. We need to have time for Him & for others and be able to serve Him & others well in whatever way the Holy Spirit is leading you to.
We can’t expect others to see & feel the life that is found in Jesus if we aren’t feeling it ourselves.
I want to challenge you to really evaluate what areas of your life currently feel lacking or feel like they’re holding you back. Then ask yourself “now what can I do about it?”.
If you need some support, please reach out (details of how to do so are in my bio below). As a Christian Naturopath I work with many people of all ages - both in-person & online and give them the tools & empowerment they need to restore their health & vitality, so that they can joyfully serve God & others with their full selves.
Esther serves alongside her husband Mathew, who is a full-time Associate Pastor at Wynnum Baptist Church, and is involved in many areas of ministry in her church. Esther is a Degree Qualified Naturopath and owns a Natural Health Clinic in Springwood called 'Olea Health', where she primarily works with Christians both in-person & via telehealth across Australia, to help them achieve optimal health naturally & holistically - Body, Mind & Spirit. Esther was formerly an SU Australia chaplain in Logan Schools where she supported young people for over 4yrs. Esther has studied community services work, as well as ministry, and uses all of this combined knowledge & experience to be able to work effectively with a wide range of people in her clinic & ministry. If you'd like to know more about how Esther can support you or your family please visit oleahealth.com.au or send her an email to