Human Health And Christian Faith
Drawing a line between faith and ignorance about our health is very important.
As Christians we should know when to draw the line between having faith and being ignorant about health matters. Our body is the temple of the lord and we should treat it as such by taking care of it that means going to the hospital when we are sick.
In as much as having faith and trusting God for healing when we are sick is good, it is also good that we consult the physician.
Even God said faith without works is dead “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2: 14-18).
Having faith without works can be likened to an unemployed man who seats at home and prays to GOD for a job. He doesn’t submit applications or search for a job but he has faith that he will get a job, such a person will remain unemployed.
A sick man who also seats at home praying for healing without getting proper treatment or taking medications is likely not to get better.
There are some Christians who believe that Christians should not visit doctors, but rely solely upon prayer for healing.
They claim (falsely) that all healings in the Bible were strictly the result of prayer. It is true that the gospels contain many examples of Jesus (and even the apostles) healing the sick and lame. However, the healings of Jesus were given as a sign of the legitimacy of His claim of Messiahship, since the Old Testament said that the Messiah would heal the blind and the deaf. Despite claims to the contrary, there were physicians at the time the New Testament was written. In fact, one of the writers of the gospels, Luke, was a physician. Jesus seemed to know that doctors could heal people, since He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick,” giving legitimacy to medicine as a healing art.
A lot of Christians suffer silently from illness like depression because they believe that their illness is a punishment for their sin rather than a natural illness.
Scripture and medication are neither enemies nor mutually-exclusive. Scriptural authority is not challenged by the efficacy of medical science. The bible says in Sirach 38:1-8
“Give doctors the honor they deserve, for the Lord gave them their work to do; Their skill came from the Most High, and kings reward them for it. Their knowledge gives them a position of importance, and powerful people hold them in high regard. The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them. Didn’t a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord’s power might be known? He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs. The druggist mixes these medicines, and the doctor will use them to cure diseases and ease pain. There is no end to the activities of the Lord, who gives health to the people of the world.” (Good News Bible).
The Bible is without error; it’s inerrant and sufficient to guide people through the challenges of life. It’s the Bible’s very sufficiency that reassures us that some physiological realities require external intervention.
As Christians we should endeavor to pay more attention to our health and understand that a ill health is not a punishment of sin and going to see a physician doesn’t mean we lack faith.