I am a student of people. I love to observe patterns and behaviors that make us tick.
Over the years, I have spent time observing, studying and learning from people who are manifesting all-round health and wholeness in their life. I’m not talking about people who are effective in just one area and a “train wreck” in others.
I am referring to a lifestyle of overall stability and effectiveness regarding what is important in life.
This is what we really long for anyways–having a life that lives effectively in what is important.
Since my teen years, I have taken mental and physical notes of some of the common habits of healthy people. These habits firmly established a lifestyle of wholeness in their life.
Here are some of those observations of spiritually healthy people:
1. They know exactly who they are and live according to their identity.
Not only do they know who they are, they are secure enough to who they are not. Being someone else is not a temptation, because they see the value in who they are. No matter the roles they have in life, the money they make or the social clout, these factors do not dictate the confidence in who they are. This does not mean they do not struggle with insecurity, they just do not let it dictate their thoughts, decisions and actions.
2. They really do not care what others think.
Now let me say this: people who have to declare, “I don’t care what people think!” usually really do care what people think….a lot…so much they have to shout that they don’t.
Healthy people don’t have to declare it, you just know it when you watch their life. They’re not mean about it, healthy people just don’t spend much time caring about the applause or the accusation of others. This clears up a huge piece of real estate in their minds to focus on other things.
3. They don’t sweat the small stuff.
Most of life is cluttered with problems that usually involve people issues. Offenses, gossip and hurts are flying everywhere, yet those who are healthy know not to sweat petty issues. They let things roll off well, because they don’t take themselves too seriously. Because of this, they forgive daily and do not keep a relational log of hurts with them. This makes them so agile and baggage free in their journey. Rarely is a toxic thought about someone held for too long. They forgive and move on.
4. They know how to grieve and process through heartache and disappointment.
Healthy people don’t shove down pain or deny hurt. They confront it head on and work through it, even if it means slowing down a bit more, or taking extra time to mend some issues of the heart. They don’t approach problems as vicitms, but they recognize the imortance of ongoing heart maintainance, especially when it comes to pain.
5. They are solution focused.
Everyone can points out problems, but healthy are always looking for solutions, ways to grow and options they may not have seen before.
Because of this mindset, they release hope everywhere they go. I find these people have a great deal of maturity in that they can talk to you about your deepest problems and sympathize, but always end with a look towards hope.
6. They guard their peace.
Life is not easy, so in order to live healthy, inward peace is critical. They don’t shelter themselves, but they work hard to guard their peace and inner rest. Healthy people limit the voices that are allowed to speak into their life and give toxic people clear boundaries. Because they carry regular peace in their heart, then anger, guilt and fear rarely become driving pests.
7. They know how to interact with difficult people, without getting run over.
They may not be able to fix every situation, but they are not completely thrown off by difficult people. Healthy people see it as a challenge to grow more.
8. They practice gratitude in everything.
Being thankful has never left their heart, so no matter what situation is presented, healthy people are just happy to be alive. Gratitude becomes the atmosphere in everthing they do.
9. They practice the Word of God.
They are not overtly preachy and rarely are they lecturing people, they just mainly live out what the Bible teaches, so this draws questions and inquisitors by default. They carry fruit from practicing God’s word that shows.
10. They are worshippers.
They know how to stop everything and just engage God’s presence, while at the same time, live with a constant awareness of God’s loving presence. This influences and affects everything they think and do. Prayer is a love, not a chore.
11. They have established disciplines that flow from their values.
They not only know what is important, their daily routine shows what is important. They do not just follow their ebb and flows of emotions. Whole people truly know how to lead their own hearts and minds, and live accordingly. Their disciplines are not there as rigorous rules, but as habits to feed and cultivate the heart.
12. They care for their temple.
They don’t obsess about their eating and exercise, but they make sure to take care of their body in every way. They make time to invest in weekly exercise and activity, while knowing that unhealthy foods will only interfere with their effectiveness in life.
13. They practice alone time.
They know how to sit alone and get refreshed. They value being with others, but see the importance of being alone with God and alone with themselves, so as to recharge, pray, meditate and gain perspective.
Question: What do you find to be a key sign of a healthy spiritual life?