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Good Nutrition, Good Health and the Bible

Updated on November 17, 2014

Cultural Competency Training and Spirituality

The large OhioHealth and Mount Carmel Health statewide medical/healthcare systems include spiritual health in their Health Ministry departments.The first system began as White Cross Hospital in what is now Goodale Park in Columus, Ohio and an arm of the United Methodist Church. The second system is a part of the Catholic Church and both systems accept all patients of any faith or none.

Originally instituted to accommodate Christian faith in the healing and wellness processes, this aspect of treatment has grown through cultural and spiritual competency training for medical staff to include many global faiths.

Since it has been found that people of many beliefs need to incorporate their own cultural customs and faith elements into their daily life in order to get well, it has been the policy of many medical and nursing colleges to train their students to add this aspect to the patients' treatment plans. It has generally been successful in reducing the length of hospital stays and decreasing recovery times post surgery in many instances.

Cultural and spiritual competency training has been added to the curricula of at least 75% of American medical schools.


The Spring Cycle

While not everyone will ever choose the same religion or lack there of, some individuals wish to integrate biblical scripture into their daily lives.

This inclusion if biblical principals in a cultural competency application incorporates what the Bible has to say about nutrition and health into daily living. It is possible to use such material with good results, if one chooses to use this particular faith option.

Whatever way you yourself follow, always consider consulting your healthcare practitioner when you make changes to your nutrition, diet, and other health routines. Find a healthcare practitioner that is sensitive to your spiritual needs as a whole person as well.

The following ideas are presented with scripture passages that ilulstrate them. They are for use by anyone that wishes to apply them.

Exodus 13:4, 14. 4 On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib [March - April] you have been set free... 14 "And in the future, your children will ask you, `What does all this mean?' Then you will tell them, `With the power of his mighty hand, the LORD brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. (/New Living Translation/NLT).

Did you make News Year' Resolutions to lose weight and eat healthy? Did you fail to keep those resolutions past Martin Luther King Jr. Day or perhaps Valentine's Day? Many did, so you are not alone.

It's too hard to stick to a new diet and exercise program, but there are ways of planning good nutrition and exercise that don't require such strict diets and training regimens. You don't have to be in bondage to those things to get healthy or stay healthy.

Israel was delivered from bondage out of Egypt in the spring. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for us in the spring at Calvary in order to release us from bondage. Thus, we do not need to be in bondage to food or exercise or any lack thereof. We are free! We are not ruled by diets or hunger. A few healthy changes can carve the way to long term health.

High-Risk Groups Can Be Healthy

In America, health and nutrition are especially major concerns for African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. As additional immigrants come into the US and begin to consume the American high-fat and-sugar diet, they begin to have more health problems. This all means that a change is needed, but not a "diet." The diets you "go on" are artificial, but good planning for eating and moderate exercising is real.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: 19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (NLT).

We belong to God and he has ready paid the price for us, so there is no bondage that can rule us, including food. Look at all the people who went on diets last year: Atkins, South Beach, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers. These folks spent more money on special foods and meetings for only one person, than they formerly spent for the whole family for groceries in a month. That doesn't make sense and most dieters don't keep the weight off. In fact, any weight-loss diet will only work for about 30% of the population, and then only temporarily.


Changing Focus

Matthew 6: 30 - 32. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, `What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. (NLT)

We can stop focusing on food and diets and start focusing on our stewardship of the abundance of the earth. Governing the earth and being stewards of it mean that we have to use food correctly to take care of our bodies correctly. Stewardship takes planning, practice, discipline, and self-control. We have to practice to get it right.


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