Be a Medical Missionary at Home (Without Meddling!)

Be a Medical Missionary at Home (Without Meddling!)

For many of us, the term “medical missionary” evokes images of poor, malnourished people in underdeveloped countries suffering dreadful diseases like malaria or typhoid. Of course, not all medical missionaries live overseas. In fact, some work exclusively in their own homes. Did you know that you may already be a medical missionary right now? 

Since God is concerned with all aspects of our health—spiritual, emotional, and physical—doesn’t it make sense that He wants His followers to be interested in the health of others as well? He wants all of us to “prosper in all things and be in health” (3 John 1:2). Maybe that’s why the Bible brims with health insights. 

So, are you ready? Your primary goal as a medical missionary is to share with others in the basic principles of healthful living. Naturally, we never want to give medical advice or try to diagnose an illness, leaving that to those with advanced medical degrees. Yet we can often bless those around us by sharing scientific, health-promoting principles from the Word of God. Here’s how: 

1. Number one rule—never judge or criticize friends or family. Whacking someone over the head with your ideals is always counterproductive. Honor the Golden Rule. If someone’s choices are concerning, pray for them but keep your lips sealed. The exception would be your own young children. But even then, don’t browbeat them, and do reward their healthy choices. 

2. Set a good example. Studies confirm that our lifestyle has great potential in influencing those close to us.1, 2 Using reliable sources, strive to expand your understanding of health. Then live up to what you know, and be ready to explain your convictions if asked. 

3. Be supportive. If someone expresses interest in improving their health, offer helpful material—for example, loan a cookbook to someone who would like to try plant-based eating. You may want to gather pamphlets and other resources on biblical health principles to share with interested friends or neighbors. Or perhaps someone in your life communicates a desire to improve their fitness. If possible, why not offer to exercise with them? 

4. If you’re the cook in your household, wielding the power of the spatula, make any dietary changes gradual ones—and be sensitive to how they’re received. Offer choices, and don’t become a kitchen dictator! 

5. Remember that emotional and spiritual wellness are tightly intertwined with physical health. You can boost the well-being of others daily through encouraging words and acts of kindness. Cheer someone! (See Proverbs 16:24.) You may find this approach often paves the way to someone considering healthy changes in their life. 

In your role as medical missionary, practice patience. Any seeds you may plant—whether direct or by example—will take time to sprout and grow. Meanwhile, you’ll be reinforcing your own healthy choices. Best of all, by continually seeking the good of others, you will be following in the footsteps of the greatest Medical Missionary of all! 

1 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa066082 

2 https://news.gallup.com/poll/163880/smokers-overweight-associate-others.aspx

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