20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (Matthew 9:20-21, King James Version)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10, New Living Translation)
This woman’s story is one of my favorite Bible stories. What I love most is the language of her thought. She determines that if she can just touch the hem of Jesus’ clothes, she will be made whole. In different translations of the text, whole is rendered as well or healed. However, I imagine that it wasn’t just her body that needed to be healed and restored. Here’s why.
Whenever I read her story in Matthew 9, I am immediately reminded of Jesus’ promise to give us abundant life and often wonder if abundant life was really what she was after, not just a healing of her body. She didn’t just have the physical issue of bleeding, but her physical issue created a social issue.
It was customary for women with a discharge to be separated during menstruation or abnormal bleeding from physical contact or from activities which they would normally engage in. She was limited in her interactions and could not fully engage in day-to-day living. This was so for 12 long, years.
I can only imagine the toll this had on her mental, emotional and spiritual health. She was isolated from her family, her community and her church. Perhaps it even affected her financial health because she was to encounter others. So maybe, she was unable to sell her wares at the market. I can’t be sure but, I do know that everything this woman touched was rendered unclean.
Being whole is what allows us to experience abundant life. According to the New Living Translation, a life that is rich and satisfying. It’s comprised of seven life elements. Our spiritual well-being, intellectual well-being, emotional well-being, physical well-being, financial well-being, vocational well-being, and social/interpersonal well-being.
1. Our spiritual well-being is a life that is rooted in Christ and influences every aspect of our lives. To live well in Christ, we must nurture a relationship with God through prayer, worship, nature, and the creative arts. All of which help us to know ourselves in relation to the Creator. (Eph. 4:15, Col. 1:9-10)
2. Remember the HBCU commercial, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste? Staying intellectually curious keeps our minds alert. Ask questions, seek answers, explore new things and stay open to new ideas. On the contrary, it’s equally important to know when to give our minds a rest – being present in the moment, mindfulness is needed, too. (1 Cor. 2:16, Phil. 4:7)
3. Emotional well-being means that we are in touch with the full range of our emotions and express them when needed. Being emotionally healthy not only allows us to be aware of how we feel but to also allows us to honor our feelings and those of others. (John 14:27, Psalm 23:3)
4. We certainly cannot live life without injury or illness. Many are not born perfectly healthy, but physical well-being means we can live well by honoring our bodies. Eating healthy food, staying hydrated, getting regular exercise and respecting the need for rest and sleep are the habits that support our bodies health. (2 Cor. 6:19-20, 3 John 1:2)
5. We are called of God to be good stewards. This mean we make financial decisions based on this value and it is evident in the way that we save, spend and share. (Proverbs 10:22, Proverbs 13:22)
6. Vocational well-being means that we live a life of meaning, purpose and service. We all have a calling and our work and passion calls us to make the world a better place. We must be faithful stewards of our gifts, talents and abilities and find opportunities to use them.
7. We were created to live in community and to love and help one another. It is important that we build and maintain social well-being by intentionally nurturing relationships with family and friends. Work hard, play hard and forgive often.
“Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering. (3 John 1:2, TPT). So, I’ve got a question? Do you want to be healed or be made whole?