Sisters of Mercy of Holy Cross

HC Blog

13th June 2014

Holistic Health – A Biblical Perspective

Spiritual Health is the foundation of positive health. 
The idea of healing is often linked only with the physical dimension of our being. Many of us have lost the sight of the role of the church in healing. We fail to recognize that healing is also the mending of broken relationships, the recovery from chemical dependence, the acceptance of God’s gift of salvation, the control of physical and psychological symptoms of ill health through medication etc. 

Wholeness involves the realization and continuous acceptance of the limitations of being a finite creature. Being whole means integrating pain, sickness and death into life’s meaning. Becoming healthy and whole is a difficult task, where good and evil, suffering and joy, sickness and being well are all intertwined. No matter what degree of health we might display, all of us are wounded in one way or other. 

Traditionally, society has defined health, healing and wholeness in two ways. The technological model defines health, healing and wholeness functionally. Health is robust physical fitness, whereas disease is a breakdown, an invasion or corrosion of the physical system. Healing is a functional restoration, repair is the goal. 

The Holistic model defines Health and Wholeness as the balance of body, mind and spirit. Disease is the disruption of that balance. Healing is the restoration of balance. An inordinate emphasis on the individual as the source and sustainer of his or her own life, weakens the holistic model. 

Both the technological and holistic models are devoid of essential Christian elements. Thus, there is a great need for setting forth the Christian perspective of health, healing and wholeness. 

A Christian model involves health, healing and wholeness and defines health as the state of a person in Christ, a new creature made whole by spiritual transformation. True healing is a process that may include repair and restoration of the balance and be based on transformation. 

Wholeness is a dynamic process, incorporating repair, restoration of balance and transformation of perspective through the power of the Holy Spirit that leads creation close to God. 

We believe there is an urgent need to live out a Christian model of health, healing and wholeness more fully, especially in the light of the current situation, in both the faith community and society. 

Biblical or Theological Review 

Our Judeo – Christian tradition has viewed health, healing and wholeness from a variety of perspectives. These perspectives are rooted in interpretations of the Old and New Testaments and in basic Christian doctrines. 
Health in the Old Testament

The concept of health occurs throughout the Old Testament. In fact, health was viewed as the state of well – being, completeness, wholeness that resulted from being in a right relationship with God. This state of health was expressed in obedience to God’s law, which produced strength and long life. 

When Moses did as God asked him at Marah and threw a piece of wood into the bitter water, it turned sweet. And God tested His people, saying, “If you do what is right in my eyes, I will not bring on you any of the diseases. I brought on the Egyptians, I am the Lord who heals you”. (Exodus 15:26)  What this teaches us is that even when the situation is “bitter” and “traumatic”, we can rely upon and look to our Lord for healing. 

God offers us healing which goes beyond the merely physical and personal, it is fundamentally spiritual and is offered to all who believe and seek His ways. 

Health and Healing in the New Testament 

The word health appears in N.T. (Acts 3:16). 
The O.T. encompassing perspective on health continues in the N.T. concepts of abundant life, blessedness, holiness, maturity and especially healing. 

Luke’s Gospel reflects this best, as it is to be expected from the pen of a physician. 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … (Lk. 4:18 – 19) 

“The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them”. (Lk. 7:22). 

As people of God, we experience God’s ongoing creation. This creative process is a journey toward wholeness. Our participation in it reflects our essential worth as human beings and brings with it the responsibility to promote all of God’s creation as worthy of our care. 
We can only achieve wholeness when all of God’s creation lives in harmony. 

Our ministry of healing is based on the values of Christ. We serve in the name of Jesus, that His name be glorified and exalted everywhere and always.

Posted By:Sr. Dr. Roshni Neerakal ,Kalyan Hospital