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                         "SPIRITUAL WELL BEING"


INTRODUCTION

1. In October, 2008, the UK government published a report...
   a. From the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing
   b. Identifying five simple steps on how one can improve their mental
      well being

2. Those five simple steps involve actions...
   a. That can easily be applied to improving our spiritual well being
   b. Applied spiritually, they will improve one both spiritually and
      mentally

[In this lesson, we shall review those five simple steps to mental well
being, and see how they can be applied to ones spiritual well being.
The first step suggested by the Foresight Project is...]

I. CONNECT

   A. IN REGARDS TO MENTAL WELL BEING...
      1. Connect with the people around you
      2. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbors, at home, work
         or in your local community
      3. Social relationships are critical to our wellbeing

   B. IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL WELL BEING...
      1. Our relationships are critical as well
      2. I.e., our relationship with God and other Christians
      3. Jesus died to reconcile us to God and to one another - cf. 2Co
         5:18-20; Ep 2:14-16
      4. Christ and the local church are the means by which we can
         connect - cf. He 10:19-25

[If we focus on establishing connections related to our spiritual well
being, connections conducive to our mental well being will follow.  The
second step suggested by the Foresight Project is...]

II. BE ACTIVE

   A. IN REGARDS TO MENTAL WELL BEING...
      1. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and has been used
         successfully to reduce depression and anxiety
      2. Participate regularly in a physical activity that you enjoy,
         and one that suits your level of mobility and fitness

   B. IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL WELL BEING...
      1. Our spiritual activity is critical as well
      2. Faith without works is dead - Jm 2:17,20,24,26
      3. We were created in Christ for good works - Ep 2:10; cf. Tit
         2:11-14; 3:1,8,14
      4. Involvement in work of the local church provides plenty of
         opportunity to be active!

[Just as physical activity helps mental well being, so spiritual
activity helps spiritual well being (1Ti 4:8).  Now for the third step...]

III. TAKE NOTICE

   A. IN REGARDS TO MENTAL WELL BEING...
      1. Practicing mindful awareness of sensations, thoughts and
         feelings can improve both the knowledge we have about
         ourselves, and our mental wellbeing
      2. Reflecting on our experiences, and the things that were
         grateful for, helps us to appreciate what matters to us

   B. IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL WELL BEING...
      1. Awareness of our spiritual circumstances is important as well
      2. Aware of the dangers that can befall us - cf. 1Co 10:12
      3. Aware of the blessings that God provides us - cf. 1Co 10:13
      4. Mutual edification with other Christians help us to remain
         aware - He 3:12-14

[It should be evident that I see our relationships with other Christians
within the context of the local church are conducive to both spiritual
and mental well being!  The same is true with step four...]

IV. KEEP LEARNING

   A. IN REGARDS TO MENTAL WELL BEING...
      1. Learning encourages social interaction and increases
         self-esteem and feelings of competency
      2. Striving towards personal goals that reflect deeply held values
         rather than being driven by external rewards is more likely to
         produce a lasting sense of satisfaction

   B. IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL WELL BEING...
      1. We are to grow in grace and knowledge - cf. 2Pe 3:18
      2. The primary function of the local church is edification - cf.
         Ep 4:11-16
      3. Through sermons, Bible studies, we continue to learn and grow
         thereby

[Again, involvement with your local church helps both mental and
spiritual well being (the latter being the most important, of course).
Finally, consider the last step suggested by the Foresight Project...]

V. GIVE

   A. IN REGARDS TO MENTAL WELL BEING...
      1. Practice "random acts of kindness", thanking someone, smiling,
         volunteering your time, and getting involved with your local
         community
      2. Individuals actively engaged in their communities report higher
         wellbeing

   B. IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL WELL BEING...
      1. Jesus taught it is more blessed to give than receive - Ac 20:35
      2. He taught that when we give, we are blessed in return - Lk 6:38
      3. In the local church we can give our time, our service, our
         money

CONCLUSION

1. Reviewing the five steps suggested for mental well being...
   a. Connect
   b. Be active
   c. Take notice
   d. Keep learning
   e. Give

2. Ive sought to illustrate that these five steps...
   a. Can help our spiritual well being as well
   b. When applied to our involvement within a local church

Indeed, I would contend that if one focuses on applying these steps in
regards to spiritual well being, mental well being will naturally
follow.  I.e., active participation with the local church is more
important than one might think when it comes to both our spiritual and
mental well being...!
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