Summary: The first sermon in a new series on Spiritual First Aid. This sermon looks at the spiritual side of physical ailments. It then looks at the Lord as our Great Physician, God's word as His prescription, and the vitality that forgiveness brings.
Spiritual First Aid
“God’s Prescription For The Soul”
Physicians and psychologists along with the prescription drug industry would like us to think that all these diseases and problems, these maladies in which we are experiencing is the result of a some chemical imbalance, or symptoms of something physically happening within us that they can provide a pill or medication for.
And this may very well be the case. We are born in a world that’s filled with and experiencing the consequences of sin. As such we are born with or acquire in this life various diseases and mental disorders.
Yet, after referring many people to doctors, what I’ve come to realize in my over 20 years of pastoring, counseling, and coaching, is that the majority of these maladies, with the exception of some physiological, psychological and physical diseases, are caused by and are a consequence of our own sinful behaviors.
It’s with this in mind I am writing this spiritual first aid manual to deal with the spiritual side of many of these maladies and behavioral issues that we face in life. We’ll look at many of these and then what the Bible says about them, that is, the prescription that God gives.
Those in the medical field like to prescribe medications to counter these ailments and symptoms, but when we’re unable to receive these medications we try medicating ourselves through alcohol, illegal drugs, and destructive behaviors like sexual immorality and gambling.
But prescribed medication and self-medication have destructive side effects. Consider the side effects of prescription drugs. Often time they’re worse than what they’re supposed to cure.
Take for instance the drug Paxil, or it’s generic counterpart, Parozetine. It’s called a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorders. It works through increasing serotonin to the brain.
And while this drug has brought normality to many, the side effects can kill you, like suicidal thoughts in children, teenagers and young adults. Side effects also include “weakness, sweating, nausea, decreased appetite, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, shaking, nervousness, sexual problems, dry mouth, constipation, yawning, infection, (and) diarrhea.”
A less common side effect is what is known as “Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that causes the body to have too much serotonin, a chemical produced by the nerve cells) with symptoms such as mental status changes (such as agitation or hallucinations), an increase in your heart rate and temperature, lack of coordination, overactive reflexes, muscle rigidity, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.”
It also has been known to increase abnormal bleeding or bruising, manic behavior, bone fractures, and seizures. There also exist side effects to unborn babies.
As a disclaimer, I am not saying forgo modern medicine, because I believe God can and does heal through doctors and hospitals, but I also believe that we’ve come to rely upon medications too much. As a result there are now new strains to old diseases that have no medical cure.
Our efforts to self-medicate through illegal drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, and gambling have also very destructive side effects. They include physical, emotional, and psychological problems, not to mention the damage they do to marriages, family, friendships, as well as our ability to work and hold a job.
In the end, we all have a tendency to quickly look to science and medicine to heal what ails us rather then looking at the spiritual side of our physical ailments.
Stress is a good example to use. Many physical ailments like headaches, muscle tension and aches, restlessness, high blood pressure, upset stomach and nausea, tiredness, fatigue, and sleep disorders are caused by stress. Stress has also been “linked to six of the leading causes of death; heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and even suicide.”
Stress also leads to emotional problems such as anger or being constantly irritated, phobias, a constant state or worry and dread, sadness or depression, and a general feeling of being overwhelmed resulting in panic attacks.
So the medical field prescribes medication to counter stress and the ailments it produces.
But when we start looking at these physical ailments as symptoms of a spiritual problem, then we can start taking the necessary steps that will bring healing and peace.
Look at what the Bible says concerning countering the effect of stress in our lives,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)
Therefore, seeing that there is a spiritual side, I’d like to look at three aspects of our healing that will be repeated throughout this series, but each time they’ll deal directly with the particular area we’ll be discussing.