[ By: Faith Clause, MSN, FNP-C ]

The topic of stewardship has been on my heart and mind the last few years. As I have been treating patients as a nurse practitioner it has been my new normal to ensure that my patients are fully aware that they play a vital role in their own health and healing. It is a co-laborship between them, me (their healthcare provider) and God. I cannot always mention God but if I can I do.

Recently, I was in with a patient and they were asking me to order physical therapy for them to help rehabilitate from a chronic progressive illness that limits their walking. We talked some things through and I asked what they had been doing to rehabilitate themselves at home and why they felt like they needed more help. I knew this patient was a believer from prior conversations. She mentioned that they had a nice lap pool in the basement that had not been used in many years. I was surprised because that is not a common part of a home and I asked if she had thought about putting the time in to get it functioning and using it for her own rehabilitation. She said, “well Faith, I guess I need to use what I already have first because well….isn’t that stewardship?” I about fell over! I felt the Lord rush over me and I told her that just by her saying that she completely confirmed what God had been teaching me over the last two years. We had an amazing conversation and she walked out feeling empowered and driven to take more action in her health and healing. You see, as a health care provider I also have to ensure that what I prescribe and use to treat my patient’s is also being stewarded and I adequately used the decision making power I have.

We are in a partnership with God. If we are proactive  in taking care of our bodies, we may prevent chronic illnesses. The God who created our bodies also made them to heal and regenerate….when we take care of ourselves. This is pro-active health.  This is not the case in every situation but I hear people complain daily about many health issues that likely could have been prevented in the first place. I am going to be so bold to say that the lack of maintaining wellness and preventing sickness is not good stewardship.

Let me give you some basic examples of how preventative healing occurs. It is not earth shattering information just the basics. This could include your yearly wellness screening, women – your yearly gynecologic screening, getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months, mild to moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day five days a week (American Heart Association, 2017). How about clean eating? Eating at home most every night of the month, portion control, eating based on need not want (this is another topic for another time).

We are to be treating our bodies as a living temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and making sure we are setting ourselves up for a long and healthy life to do all that God is calling us to do. How about stewarding your sleep health, dental health, mental health, eye health, and your children’s health. These are all in your control to accomplish. They all look for ways to prevent a problem before it occurs. I hope this opens up some thoughts about how you can make a change this year to get rid of neglect and steward this life you have. You only get one life and stewardship ensures you live it out as healthy as possible, this is pleasing to the Lord.

What are some ways you are stewarding your health?
What are some ways you could step up preventative or pro-active healing?