Out of Control
How much control do we have over what our children will be when they grow up? Arguably, we have no control over what they'll become, and yet we have an incredible amount of positive or negative influence. It's the same with health.
There's much that we can do to have influence over our health, but in reality, we have no control at all. A corollary of that is that even when we do the best things for our health, we still may not end up healthy. Doing the worst things doesn't necessarily make us sick.
Having good relationships is one of the most important things we can do for our health.
I may have a patient that smokes all of their life and never gets lung cancer, and then someone who never smokes and gets lung cancer. So if someone asks why they shouldn't smoke, they might wonder if it matters. It does. Smoking or not has influence—but not control—over health.
We look at our health the way we look at our children. We nurture them. We cherish them. We seek to make good influence, but we never think that we can control them.
The Best Thing We Can Do For Our Health
One of the best studies (taking place over 75 years with over $20 million) ever done on aging well is the Grant Study. Some of the results were expected. Don't smoke. Drink moderately. Exercise some. Eat well.
The study found that the most important thing for aging well is the quantity and quality of enduring, warm, nurturing relationships. The more of them you have, the better we age. Having good relationships is one of the most important things we can do for our health.
Psalm 34 says Who wants to live well and live their days in good form? The text instructs us to seek peace and pursue it. Seeking shalom or peace within relationships is probably the best thing we can do for our health.
- Our Health and Salvation (Bob Cutillo, MD)
- Help for Thinking Wisely about Health Care (Bob Cutillo, MD)
- What Is True Wellness? (John Dunlop, MD)