“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”
– Psalm 103:1-3
Have you heard of the placebo effect? My guess is that you have, but if not, here’s what it is: when a medical research study is conducted, half of the participants receive the medication being tested (control group) and the other half receive what’s called a placebo, or a pill that is made out of a combination of sugar, salt, and other inactive ingredients. While you would naturally assume that the people who take the active drug improve and the other half of the participants do not, what typically happens is that at least 30% of those receiving the placebo pills show some sign of improvement. Interestingly, the reason for this remains a mystery and doctors have never found a way to quantify it. Dr. Andrew Weil, who is a Harvard-trained physician, believes that we can and should use placebo as a way to help people. He advocates that by tricking the mind into believing that the body is healthy, people actually become well.
I don’t know about you, but I believe that the reason patients taking placebos improve is because they are thinking more highly of their own bodies. There is power in recognizing that your body is a gift, and as you train yourself to appreciate it, it responds favorably to the positive feedback. This proves that the spiritual discipline of a renewed mind can boost physical health as well as emotional and mental well-being.
Friend, your body is a big deal to God! The more you learn to love, appreciate, and thank Him for it, flaws and all, the better you will feel. When you became a Christian, the mind of Christ was made available to you, which means that you can see every part of your being through His eyes of blessing and affirmation. No matter how much your flesh has failed you, Jesus has not, and there is nothing broken that He cannot restore and make new. Align your thoughts with His heart and anything is possible in your body!
Jesus, I ask that you would renew my mind when it comes to how I think about my body. Give me your thoughts and your perspective so I can love and appreciate it as you do.
What does the placebo effect teach you about the power of your mind over certain aspects of your health and well-being? Will you thank God for your body today, even though it may feel broken?