A Health Care Reality Check

Steve Klein

It's easy to get caught up in the political and social issues of our time. Currently, you can't turn on the TV or radio, or pick up a newspaper without being bombarded with news on the health care debate going on in Washington. Most of us probably have our opinions about the issues involved. Some might like more government control and financing of health care, and some might want less. Some might prefer that health insurance be mandatory for all, while others might like a choice in the matter. No matter what our feelings are on these and related issues, Christians need to remember to allow their thinking to be directed by their faith in God and the truths found in His word. Whatever Washington decides about healthcare, certain things will remain true.

Clean living leads to good health. The best health care plan in the world is to live like God says. He created us and surely knows what is best for us! "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones" (Proverbs 3:7-8).

Listening to wise parents promotes a long healthy life. Solomon said "My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (Proverbs 4:20-22). "Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3)

Health is a gift from God. It is the Lord who blesses people with good health and well being. As was mentioned earlier, we can certainly do things to promote our health. And the Scriptures indicate that doctors and pharmaceuticals also have roles to play in keeping us healthy (cf. Matthew 9:12; 1 Timothy 5:23; Luke 10:34; Jeremiah 51:8). But ultimately it is God who blesses us with health and healing. Let's not forget that! "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases" (Psalms 103:2-3). We may have all the money in the world, but the health and strength to enjoy it is a gift from God. Solomon observes, "As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor -- this is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 5:19).

No health care program is going to keep you from dying. We talk about health care as if it is going to prevent people from dying. It will not. You can take all the pills you want. Exercise, eat right and avoid risky behavior, and you will still die anyway! In the end, it won't matter what health care program our nation adopts. "No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, and no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it" (Ecclesiastes 8:8).

If our thinking is right, we'll be much more concerned about what happens after death than we are about what to do to prolong life -- for "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).