Faith healing is a religious concept that has endured for centuries, encouraging followers to be healed through their faith in God. The practice of faith healing focuses on physical restoration as a result of prayer and devotion, but doesn’t answer the question: After we are healed, how do we remain healthy? An emerging “whole health” approach draws on Jesus’ biblical teachings and ministry to offer an answer: By cultivating spiritual health, the health of the mind and body also will be brought into balance.
The distinction between healing and health may seem slight, but Dr. Liam Chapman, author of Health for Life: The pathway to biblical health and wholeness, says this distinction helps us better understand the whole health benefits of a strong spiritual relationship with God.
“Health is about not only being free from disease, but it’s about living your life to the maximum potential for which you were created,” Dr. Chapman says. “Healing is about setting people free, but health is about helping people to stay free and live free and be the people they were actually created to be: spirit, soul and body.”
Dr. Chapman, who is both a medical practitioner and Christian minister, has dedicated his life to illuminating the link between whole health and religious faith. The connection between the two has been examined by religious scholars throughout history, but Dr. Chapman believes that Christians have a unique opportunity to achieve spiritual health through their faith.
“Historically, any other religion says, God is up there, we are down here…but we can never fully know Him personally,” Dr. Chapman says. “The challenge that Jesus brought by coming to earth and being a man was that we can know Him. He opened the door for a personal relationship.”
The first step on the journey to this relationship is, on its surface, not terribly difficult. What Dr. Chapman suggests is simply to ask the fundamental questions: where did we come from, why are we here and where are we going? The challenge lies in being unafraid to learn the answers.
“We may not like the answer or we may not want the answer we discover and I think therefore we tend to avoid the question,” Dr. Chapman says.