One of my year end activities is to read through previous year(s) journals. It is exciting to see what I have learned and how I have matured… and disheartening to see those things against which I STILL struggle. Reading my own writing is a most credible witness to my personal discipline, and lack of self-control.
If you don’t journal… I urge you to try it! If you do journal… I urge you to read what you have written over the last year(s).
Anyhow, in May of 2017, I was reading Gordon McDonald’s classic work, “Ordering Your Private World.” In this book, he quotes E. Stanley Jones who wrote about the “12 Apostles of Ill Health.” That quote was written in my journal along with a note about a Bible verse I had read earlier that morning. Both are instructive for the person wanting health!
Here is my journal entry:
E. Stanley Jones speaks of the “12 Apostles of Ill Health”: anger, resentments, fear, worry, desire to dominate, self-preoccupation, guilts, sexual impurity, jealousy, a lack of creative activity, inferiorities, a lack of love.”
Jones says, “In prayer, I’ve learned to surrender these things to Jesus Christ as they appear.”
This brings me back to 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “God will not allow temptation to be more than I can stand. When I am tempted, He will show me a way out so I can endure.” (I personalized the verse in my journal, changing the words from “you” to “I/me”).
Take a minute and slowly read the “12 Apostles of Ill Health”:
- desire to dominate
- sexual impurity
- a lack of creative activity
- a lack of love.
See anything there that “rings your bell”? Anything there that is stealing spiritual energy? Depleting physical strength? Detracting from overall well-being? What are you doing about that “apostle”?
Jones found that prayer was a strategic tool in the battle for health.
St. Paul said that God will provide deliverance from the things that tempt us and threaten to destroy us (1 Corinthians 10:13).
As I head into the new year, I see things on this list that need my attention. One of my strategies for reducing and even eliminating the influence of these “apostles” is going to be prayer.
What do you think? Do you agree with Jones’ list? How do you tackle these “12 Apostles of Ill Health”?