Choosing a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just watching what you eat and exercising four times a week; truly living healthy requires you to take control of every aspect of your life. When you’re young, it can be very difficult to juggle school and work and still have time to manage the rest of your life. But when you take initiative to maintain and balance these areas, your life will be much more productive and successful.
Let’s identify four aspects of your life that you can take charge of today– and gain some helpful tips straight from the Bible to guide the process.
The most important area of your life is your spiritual life: your relationship with God. Just like any relationship, quality time is vital. This is the same with your relationship with God. Set aside a specific time each day to pray and read the Bible. Make sure to schedule time to spend with God every day and consistently follow through with it. This will allow you to grow spiritually. Another way that you can grow spiritually is by fasting. Fasting is sacrificing something in your life for a period of time, and using that time to pursue God.
“Blessed is the man who… his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” -Psalms 1:1-2
Although your physical health is very simple, it has a very big impact on other areas of your life. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting consistent hours of sleep, and exercising routinely are the three things that will make the biggest impact on your daily productivity and mental health. Our diet is important because “if you put good in, you’ll get good out”; if you are eating healthy, your body will be getting the nutrients it needs to function properly and you will feel good. The same goes for sleep and exercise; if you sleep well each night, you will have energy for the next day. If you exercise regularly, your body will be more fit and strong. Also, God calls us to take good care of our bodies; “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Having good relationships with the people around you is a very important aspect of your life. This area of life can be divided into three main relationship dynamics: Family, Friends, and Discipleship.
Family: In a family, it is very important that everyone honors each other; children honor their parents (Exodus 20:12), parents honor their children; Husband’s honor their wives, wives honor their husbands. Honoring your family members shows them that you respect them and love them, and will strengthen your relationship with them.
Friends: Having good, Godly friends is also important so that you may encourage each other to grow closer to God (Proverbs 27:17). Having friends that will keep you accountable is key for spiritual growth. Accountability isn’t just having someone to call you out on your negative or bad behavior, but to also praise and encourage you for the things you’re succeeding in.
Discipleship: Pursuing a relationship with someone that is older in life or faith is another important relationship to have in your spiritual walk. God commands us to seek advice from people who are wiser than yourself (Proverbs 19:20). It’s good to have someone to guide you in your walk with God, but it’s also good for you to be helping someone else who is younger in their faith.
God commands us to be good stewards of all aspects of our lives, one of these being our finances. To be a good steward of our finances we must be in control and keep track of our spending. The best way to do this is to keep a budget. Allocate your money to the different areas of your life. The most important part of your budget is what you give. God commands us to give, but He only wants us to do from our heart (2 Corinthians 9:7). God also warns us about going into debt (Proverbs 22:7). Avoiding to borrow and lend money will, for the most part, keep you safe from going into debt. But if someone is in need of money, don’t feel like you can’t help them because you don’t want to lend them money, just give. Those who give freely will grow in wealth (Proverbs 11:24).
In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it’s important to make sure every aspect of your life is doing well. Take some time today to sit down and reflect on how you’re doing in each of these four areas. If things aren’t looking as best as they could, write down a plan in your journal on how you can take back areas of your life you’ve been slacking off in. Sometimes we slide so far back that it may seem difficult to take charge of even one of these aspects, but progress is a day-to-day improvement. The small changes that you make today will have a ripple effect and create even bigger changes in how you live your life. As you continue to evaluate your habits and choices according to the Word of God, you’ll see your life develop to look more Christ-like in no time.