Doctors recommend a routine physical exam to detect and prevent serious health problems. We can do the same for our spiritual health.
Brain surgeon Dr. Lee Warren uses the example of a stroke to help us to understand the similarities between spiritual health and neuroscience.
“I see an example in my practice after people have had certain kinds of brain hemorrhages, where they slowly develop something called vasospasm. Vasospasm is where the arteries and the little capillaries in your brain can start to narrow themselves and become sort of spastic and over time; the brain begins to lose blood flow and oxygen supply.”
“These people don’t have big dramatic strokes, they just lose little bits of function over time; sometimes they have dramatic strokes, but at first it’s real subtle.”
Dr. Warren says that similar to a stroke that occurs inside of the brain, a spiritual stroke can happen in our spiritual lives.
“Maybe we get busy and we stop praying for a while; we don’t spend as much time in the word, maybe we just haven’t had time to go to church, or connect with small groups. Over time, we begin to find situations that normally we would handle with our faith intact, begin to be a lot bigger of a deal for us.”
“We begin to not be able to recall that verse that we used to call on when we had trouble, and it just feels like our spiritual lives are in spasm.”
Is your spiritual health declining towards a possible stroke? The Word of God can intervene and help to improve the condition of your life.
“There’s a verse in Proverbs 7 that says, ‘if you’re wise, you’ll let the word of God be the lens through which you see your life,’ and if you don’t have the word in you, then you can’t see the world with that corrective lens in place.”
Dr. Warren describes how he is able to keep himself spiritually strong while dealing with stressful situations in life.
“For me, the set of things that I tend to worry about I can only handle if I arm myself for that worry by preparing the first part of every day with time in the word and time in prayer.”
To avoid spiritual strokes that will starve us of the oxygen that comes from God and His word, we need to have spiritual checkups on a regular basis.
Dr. Lee Warren is a board-certified neurosurgeon and a retired major of the United States Air Force. He was only the second U.S. Air Force neurosurgeon to be deployed to a wartime hospital since the Vietnam War, performing combat brain and spinal surgery during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He practices at Advantage Orthopedics and Neurosurgery, providing comprehensive care of the brain and spine. He is the author of A Peek Under the Hood: A Brain Surgeon Looks at Life.When was the last time you had a spiritual checkup?