God's Alternative to Medicine: Living Right

by Jim Mitroka
Tinten Falls, New Jersey

As a research scientist for a pharmaceutical company, I recently came across an interesting article in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article compared the effect of lifestyle changes to drug therapy for the treatment of adult-onset diabetes. The conclusion read "Lifestyle changes and treatment with metformin [arguably the most effective medicine available] both reduced the incidence of diabetes in persons at high risk. The lifestyle intervention was more effective than metformin" [my italics]. This was a real "Wow" to me, and I wanted to share this conclusion with you--especially those of you who are my brothers and sisters in the Lord--for a simple reason. There is just no substitute for taking care of our bodies.

Adult-onset diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in our country. It is a slowly progressing insidious disease, which begins early in life--around the teenage years. It shortens life span and wreaks havoc on the body, often resulting in blindness and loss of a limb. The sad part is that, as with so many other chronic illnesses in our time, in most cases the disease can be prevented or reversed by proper habits of eating and exercising.

But is it not so much easier to take a pill, whether it is a prescription medication like the one referred to in the article, or a herbal remedy as so many look for--and commercial enterprises are always prepared to offer a quick fix? Of course there are many times when medication is appropriate and useful, and I am not advocating that people should not listen to their doctors! But, ultimately we are responsible to God for knowing how to live a healthy lifestyle. And, like so many of the instructions given to us in God's Word, we should not be surprised that discipline and perseverance in personal habits lie at the core of our physical as well as spiritual well being.

The Bible tells us "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, so Honor God with your body" (1 Corinthians 3:16). If we are to live life to the fullest,we must be diligent to care for ourselves to be good stewards of our physical bodies. So take care of yourself: eat right and exercise. Find a way, make it fun. Who knows what God has in mind for you down the road--who you might live to inspire, to encourage, to bring to faith!

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