Tue Aug 17-Physically and Spiritually

3 John 1:2 (CEB)

Dear friend, I’m praying that all is well with you and that you enjoy good health in the same way that you prosper spiritually.


Today’s text comes from the 3rd of three letters written by John the Evangelist (yes, that John. The author of the Gospel of John) to a man named Gaius. Before even getting into the purpose of his writing a letter, John tacks on today’s verse. In it, he offers prayers to Gaius that his physical health be in the same, tip-top shape as his spiritual health. It’s an interesting remark.

Of course your physical health could be struggling yet your faith remain strong, and vice-versa, but the attention we give to our bodily needs can have an impact on us spiritually. For example, like any good Methodist, I often get asked “How is it with your soul?” In answering this question, I often find that where I am physically plays a role. Say I’ve been a bit stressed and haven’t been sleeping well (which, as we previously learned from these devotionals, happens to me often). Then my answer regarding my soul might be “tired”. That physical toll begins to take on a spiritual toll.

It’s worth noting that Methodism’s founder, John Wesley’s, most prominent book was not on religion but on health – including diet and exercise. The book is called “Primitive Physick” and though many of the remedies he offers are outdated (this was the 1700’s after all), and I would in no way recommend it as a source for health concerns, he does make interesting points about care for one’s wellness. This is to say that care for our body can also be a sacred and spiritual practice.

By Rachel Callender

For Pondering & Prayer

Have you ever noticed your physical well-being affecting your spiritual well-being (or the other way around?) What does that look like for you? What is one thing you can do for your physical health today that can help you also grow spiritually?

Prayer: Almighty Creator, we ask for your holy guidance as we navigate the complicated relationship between the soul and the body. We give thanks for your many blessings today. Amen.

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