A hippie is defined as:
“A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.” – Ca. 1960
“Having large hips” – Ca. 1854
In either case – why would I ever use such a term to describe the type of person that you NEED to become?
I must be trippy (dad joke?).
Although hippies come in all forms, some of the more modern-day hippies are a little less provocative than that of the 1960’s version, and more, uh… relevant than the 1800’s version. Many today are peace-loving, green-movement, tree-hugging, earth-saving activists!
So, for the sake of this post, let’s be clear that when I refer to hippie, I am talking about the environmental aspect… Plus, hippie is a little more attention grabbing than “Christian Environmentalist,” don’t you think? 😉
I think you need to be a Christian hippie. We all do. In fact, God tells us this!
Let me explain…
Health and Christianity
We (Anna and I) have been overcoming our autoimmune diseases for almost a decade now, and in the same window, cultivating our faith in tremendous ways.
Conquering an autoimmune disease isn’t easy though. It takes real effort, dedication, habit change, and a ton of research. Growing in your faith is the same really.
While we scoured numerous sources during our health AND faith research, we found that there was always something missing – an explanation of the imperative interaction between real health and true faith. I’m talking a connection that goes far beyond the “no drinking, no smoking, no overeating” types of behaviors that can be inherently sinful.
This interaction is best understood from the eyes of what I call the Christian Hippie. I’ll explain how we are all called to embody our inner-hippie, to fulfill God’s intentions with respect to health, faith, and our environment.
It Started With a Temple
All the way back to Moses, the temple has been a pivotal part of the Judeo-Christian religion. It is such a big deal, that God himself gave a few hints, and A LOT of direction to make sure we understood the importance and got it right.
Just look at Exodus 25: 8-9 –
“They are to make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst. According to all that I show you regarding the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of its furnishings, so you are to make it.”
As Exodus continues, and in Chapter 27, God offers highly specific details about the furnishings, dimensions, decoration… right down to the color and materials that were to become his temple!
Simply put, these details are critical! Do you know why God gave us such clear guidelines to create HIS temple? Because…
Only God knows God perfectly – and thus he must reveal himself fully so we can understand how to proceed with his plan. So, to help us know him best (by being physically closer to him), he gave us specific details on how to build his home on earth.
A temple is the earthly dwelling place for our Lord and God, so it’s kind of a big deal. And if you think about the importance of the temple and why God was so careful in his instruction to us, it makes sense that he would want us to put in a little effort when constructing his earthly home.
The Temple and Your Health
Clearly, the temple is the earthly house of God – he tells us this much. Therefore, we work hard to make sure his house is as beautiful, clean, and structurally sound as possible, so we can show him how grateful we are for his blessings.
But we must not forget about the temples He created.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Just as he told us how to build his earthly temples, he also tells us that our bodies are temples – which he built.
God reveals that he doesn’t only live in man-made sanctuaries, but also dwells within our bodies! Do you ever stop to think about this?
If we treat the temples that we built so well, by cleaning and maintaining them, shouldn’t we do at least that for the temples that He built?
We owe it to God to maintain and respect our bodies.
Real Body and Mind Health – Reasons 1 & 2 for Becoming a Christian Hippie
If our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit, and we need to maintain and care for them like we would a brick and mortar temple, what should we do?
How about, make it the best body possible!?
Basically, there are 7 categories that should at least be considered when trying to make your body God’s ideal temple.
- Dress accordingly
- Eat properly (and cleanly)
- Maintain mental health / nourish the mind
- Stay hydrated (with clean water)
Remember the adage: garbage in = garbage out.
When considering the 7 categories, think top quality, no crap, only good enough for God!
Clean water, plentiful and refreshing sleep, viable exercise, cleanliness using products that are non-toxic, food that is sustainably and organically grown (not chips, soda pop, and fast food!), are the types of things that should be coming in contact with “God’s house” (a.k.a. your body).
The great thing about these categories is that they can easily fit your current schedule. If you notice, things like eating, sleeping, and drinking water are already part of daily life, so not much heavy lifting to do if changes need to be made.
Funny how things that are good for us, make us feel better, glorify God by optimizing the condition of our bodies are already a part of daily life – it’s like he designed it to work that way…
The Hidden Side of Health – More than Body and Mind (Reason 3)
There is one little snafu with this logic of improving only the body and mind in order to glorify God. This is explained in one of the earliest passages of the Bible.
Genesis 1:26 –
“Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our Likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.”
Then, a chapter later in Genesis 2:15 –
“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.”
It is critical to understand that God charged us with the care of the entire world. HIS world…
Psalm 24:1 –
“The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds, the world and those who dwell in it.”
And if you really think about it, your health is directly affected by your environment. Think, garbage in = garbage out. If you’re constantly breathing polluted air, your body gets polluted too (more to come).
The responsibility of caring for God’s creations is not random or disconnected either. In fact, when you boil things down to their core, everything God has created is linked together. The verse from Psalm 24:1 emphasizes the importance of the earth, stating that it is God’s own possession.
The question is, when you look at all of humankind’s interventions in the world, from the primitive (the wheel) to the modern (mechanization of industry), have we really fulfilled God’s instructions?
Are we really cultivating and caring for all of his creations?
Don’t get me wrong, humans have done amazing and wonderful things. We were made in his image after all and can create and do beautiful works.
However, we must also understand that there is a line, and it’s when we cut God out of the picture by not following his direction and trying to do his will, that it gets crossed. In a word, crossing the line is: sin.
God charged us with caring for his creations, so in what way have humans sinned in this regard?
- Air pollution
- Water pollution
- Herbicides/pesticide/artificial hormones/antibiotics/artificial flavorings/genetic modification in our food supply
- Soil erosion and misuse, poor agricultural techniques – forcing what isn’t meant to be
- Unethical treatment of countless living organisms in the name of profit or “science”
The list is not exhaustive, but the fact remains. We have severely overstepped when it comes to taking care of this planet AND its inhabitants.
Everything listed above, like pollution and improper care for animals and plants, directly affects our health.
Remember, we must breathe in, drink in, or plainly, live in the environment we “care” for. God created things to fit seamlessly, and if we are forcing the environment to fit us, then we cause imbalances that eventually (sometimes immediately) decrease our health.
The Three Reasons Combined – God’s Instruction for Becoming a Full-Blown Christian Hippie!
There are 7 categories to making a top-notch body-temple. The Body and Mind Component.
We are supposed to use and care for the earth, its parts, and its inhabitants in a way that fulfills God’s intent provided in scripture. The Earth Component.
And now I will rely on this surprisingly applicable quote from none other than… The Lion King to drive home the main point – enjoy. 🙂
“Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
Simba: But dad, don’t we eat the antelope?
Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. So we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”
Look, Mufasa nailed it! Otherwise, I wouldn’t be quoting The Lion King and the Bible in the same article…
Mufasa’s explanation of the Circle of Life is simple, but it effectively helps to understand the interactions that take place on this planet and why they are so important to overall health.
For instance, when Simba asks: “But dad, don’t we eat the antelope?”, he is showing a limited understanding of balance. Which is probably similar to how many of us might think…
“Well, we just live on the planet right? It was here long before us and will be long after. We don’t actually have that much of an effect on something so large, right?”
Mufasa (God in our version of the story) says otherwise.
Now let’s imagine Mufasa and Simba lived in the United States instead of Africa. Instead of Mufasa simply stating that the antelope eat the grass, we eat the antelope, then we die, the grass “eats” us, and the cycle repeats…
He might say: “Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and that grass is sprayed with herbicides (a common one rhymes with Pound Up) to kill the weeds, and the antelope eat the grass and the herbicide, and they get sick, and then we eat the antelope and we get sick.”
All of a sudden the Circle of Life starts to warp – badly. Maybe at first everything just gets “a little ill”, but after a couple of cycles things get much further out of whack!
If we start applying this idea that our environment and its inhabitants (including ourselves) need to be properly cared for in order to achieve optimal health, things start to function as they were intended.
Understanding the interconnectedness of God’s creations and how they interact is the essence of real health. Knowing that God created us to function in this way proves one thing:
Christians were made to be hippies. We are charged with caring for the earth and ourselves in a way that only God could come up with. So…
I urge you to stop thinking of health and our earth in such limited terms as many in our society do. The optimal relationship between God, earth, and your body is what allows us to achieve true health, and with that, to act as Christians do by glorifying God!
Are you a Christian Hippie? Tell us all about how you take on the title!
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Hey there! I’m Frank, co-founder of Healthy Habits Reset. My wife, Anna, and I have battled our respective autoimmune diseases for over a decade. We have fumbled through and eventually learned that REAL mental and physical healing requires you to be your own advocate, to think for yourself, and to determine what information works for YOU.
We created this blog to teach everyone how to use the resources and tools available to make the best personal decision surrounding any health, faith, and lifestyle choice.