What does the Bible say about healthcare?Question: "What does the Bible say about healthcare?"
Answer: The Bible does not address healthcare directly and of course says nothing about socialized medicine or other political issues related to modern healthcare. But the Bible is definitely pro-health and encourages us to take care of our bodies. Our bodies are creations of God and, for the believer, temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Luke, who wrote over half of the New Testament, was a healthcare professional (Colossians 4:14), and Paul once advised medical treatment (1 Timothy 5:23). Seeking the physical wellbeing of others (and of oneself) is good and proper.
Approaches to healthcare vary, and believers have freedom regarding the healthcare options they pursue. Some people have their healthcare plans covered by their employer. Others choose to visit holistic doctors not covered by insurance. Some people focus only on catastrophic care, making sure that major medical expenses do not lead to bankruptcy. Many Christians choose to participate in care cooperatives or medical cost-sharing programs where money is pooled and then given out when a need arises in one of the members. All of these are valid options for healthcare. The goal is to keep the body fit, as much as possible, in order to better serve and glorify the Lord.
The Bible mentions various medical treatments, all of which are what we today would consider holistic. People applied bandages to wounds (Isaiah 1:6), used oil and wine as topical agents (James 5:14; Luke 10:34), and used wine for stomach ailments (1 Timothy 5:23). This doesn’t mean that modern surgery or pharmaceuticals are unbiblical, only that, when the Bible was written, those treatments had not yet been invented. There is no reason to believe that we shouldn’t use whatever methods are at our disposal to improve or correct our health. Neither is there any biblical mandate against participating in healthcare insurance plans.
It is wise to plan for the future (Proverbs 6:6–8). “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12). This wisdom can be applied to healthcare. Preventative healthy habits such as eating and sleeping well, drinking enough water, and doing regular exercise will steadily improve any person’s health and give him the strength to do whatever God has given him to do, be it caring for a child, writing a book, or running a company. But if we lack wisdom and let our bodies fall into disrepair, we risk sudden sickness or injury that can quickly take us out of commission.
Every believer, no matter his or her energy level, has a purpose in God’s kingdom. Healthcare is about caring for your body, your mind, and your emotions—the whole person—so you can reach your maximum ability, whatever that is. We are all different. Some are stronger and some are weaker, but all have a function. “For the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).
Taking care of health is biblical and important, for God created us as body, soul, and spirit. We must not ignore the body’s health. Healthcare, in whatever form it takes, is biblical and important, as well. Christians should be involved with preventative healthcare and make plans to deal with injuries and illnesses before they occur.
Recommended Resource: What Does God Say About Healthcare? by D. James Kennedy
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