Throughout Start with You, our free ebook for email newsletter subscribers, I reiterate time and again how deeply connected the four central areas of health really are.
If you increase your physical health, you’ll notice a change in your emotional, relational, and spiritual health. The easier way to say this is a phrase commonly used in economics: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” More often than not, if you can begin to make strides in bettering your health in one of these areas, you’ll likely notice beneficial changes in other areas.
For some pastors and church leaders, seeking to become emotionally healthy may be an intense challenge. I know it was for me because I had such a hard time admitting to things I didn’t want to admit to. I thought the secret sin in my life would just go away if I didn’t pay attention to it, little realizing that it was slowly poisoning me and deeply affecting every other area of health in my life, not to mention my relationships with my loved ones and my church.
Plus, when you add the stress and notoriety of being a church leader, coming clean about your emotional shortcomings can be quite difficult. That’s why it’s vitally important for you to have people in your life—whether trusted friends, staff members, or a paid counselor—with whom you can openly discuss everything you’re feeling (or not feeling, as the case may be). You need that outlet or your emotional health will deteriorate over time until you wake up one day and have no idea who that person in the mirror is.
So how can you know when you need help? Here’s a quick test:
- When’s the last time you remember really feeling something, to the point where it made you weep, or laugh uncontrollably, or beam with pride? If you can’t recall, you may be emotionally numb.
- Or, when’s the last time you felt close to your spouse, almost as if the two of you were first dating? If you can’t remember, you may have emotionally withdrawn from that relationship.
- Or, when’s the last time you felt respected or appreciated at your job? If you can’t recall, maybe your emotional health is negatively affecting your leadership capabilities.
Here’s the thing: regardless of how you answered, we all need help to maintain our emotional health.
Today, find that help.
Your tide will rise, buoying so much more in your life than just your emotional well-being.