Why We Address Spiritual Care at SFM

(The following is the first session of a series of video messages that our patients begin receiving after their initial visits   This and session 2 (coming soon) will give you a taste of what Sanctuary offers beyond its functional medicine approach.  If you want to receive the entire series, sign up for the newsletter and request the Spiritual Care Series.) Watch Video below.

The Contemporary world divides humans into various parts with little interaction or overlap.  Experts compartmentalize the physical, emotional, mind, and spiritual areas to simplify and treat.  The tasks of whole person care are parceled out to different specialists.  Pastors, doctors, counselors, ethicists and others work in their boundaried fields usually ignoring the other fields.  This is not all bad in one sense as we need some specialists who focus attention on specific areas.

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In the process of specializing, we lose sight of the whole person.  Specialists become so focused on their area and no one watches over the integration of each area.  Pragmatically this approach fails.  It contrasts with the experience of life in which we function and both physical and spiritual beings.  It does not fit with a Christian view of reality.

Dividing a person’s health contrasts with a Biblical view of the whole person.  The Bible addresses us as a physical and spirit.  Both the physical and the spiritual are attributed meaning and significance.  The Bible views them as distinct but interdependent and overlapping.  Arbitrary lines between areas only confuse the issue.

The Bible addresses both physical and spiritual reality of humans.  God created humans from the dust of the earth, reflecting their physical makeup.  The physical body continues into the new heaven and the new earth although it is renewed into holiness.  In the beginning, God added His breath to the molded dust of the earth and gave life.  Many would recognize this as the spiritual aspect of mankind which was wedded to the physical.  This spiritual aspect is the most eternal portion of man and also continues into the new creation.

God address physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of His people in the Bible.  Emotional issues fill the Psalms and “fear nots’ pepper the New Testament.  Jesus healed many physical sufferings as He walked the earth.  Throughout the Bible, issues of guilt and forgiveness echo over and over.  The Bible tackles death as the ultimate physical and spiritual concern.

Ultimately, the best description may be man as embodied soul in which physical and spiritual blend one into the other.  Body serves as the means of the spirit working out evil or righteousness.  The Bible reinforces the interdependence in the Psalms, the suffering of Job, and elsewhere.  Reality supports this view with the personal experience of health trials and the emotions of our suffering.

As a physician caring for those who suffer, I have seen many emotional and spiritual manifestations in the physical realm.  Life stress produces hives and leaky gut.  Stress exacerbates many symptoms and diseases such as asthma, autoimmune, cardiovascular and more.  Your own experience likely confirms that trials or spiritual struggles spilled into the physical or physical suffering spilled into the spiritual.

Science now corroborates these connections through uncovering mechanisms by which disparate areas interrelate.  More and more pathways regularly reveal how emotions affect the GI system or the immune system or inflammation.  Vice versa, more research explains why these physical systems lead to mental and emotional symptoms through hormones and inflammatory mediators.

To get better, we all must consider physical and spiritual areas as well as relational areas which also impact on the individual.  Our health and its contributors extend beyond our own being as relationships affect us deeply.  This includes various relationship like God, interpersonal, and as families or social groups.

At Sanctuary, we want you to thrive body, mind, spirit and relationally.  Therefore we press into all these areas although most of our time in the office focuses on physical manifestations and causes.  This series of emails serve to edify in terms of spiritual care.  These videos are not meant to replace your church or personal growth in faith, but to augment it.

They should point you back to God, His Word, worship, prayer, fellowship and more.  You should see them more or less every other week alternating with other physical emphases of care.  As you received them, reflect and ask God to apply to your own self-care or care of a family member.

If you desire prayer or have a question about something in this, please send a message.  If something blesses you, please let us know.

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