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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - A Healthy Soul

Joel Osteen - A Healthy Soul

Joel Osteen - A Healthy Soul
TOPICS: 15 Ways to Live Longer and Healthier, Emotional Health, Stress, Worry

To live long and healthy, to have plenty of energy and vitality, that's what we all want. The good news is, that's God's dream for your life as well, but we have to get in agreement with him. We don't always realize how much our emotions and attitudes are affecting us physically. If you want to be healthy, you have to make sure your soul is healthy. Our emotional well-being affects our physical well-being. So, how can we tame stress, build stronger relationships, experience real health and happiness? In this series, I'll show you 15 things you can do to live healthier and longer. I know these principles work. I've used them in my own life. You can get up each morning with more energy. You can go to work with more vitality. You can be free from what's limiting your life. I'm Joel Osteen. You're watching 15 ways to live longer and healthier.

Your inner life is more important than your outer life. We spend a lot of time and energy taking care of our physical body. We try to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, take vitamins. That's all important. We want to feel good. But too often, we don't spend enough time taking care of our soul. We don't realize how much our emotions, our attitudes, and our thoughts are affecting us physically. The scripture says, "I wish above all things that you succeed and be in good health, even as your soul prospers". This links being healthy physically, having energy and vitality to how healthy your soul is. If your soul is unhealthy, it's going to spill over to the physical. If you're living stressed, worried, bitter, guilty, angry, those negative emotions are not just affecting your relationships, your creativity, and how productive you are. They're weakening your immune system. Your cells are not fighting off sickness as they should.

I've read that 90% of all visits to a primary care physician are stress related. Can't sleep at night, food won't digest, have ulcers. Much of that goes back to your soul not being healthy. You're worried night and day about your child that's off course, or stressed over your finances, holding a grudge over a friend that did you wrong. You don't realize that you're making yourself sick. All that negative energy is poisoning your soul. Because your soul is unhealthy, it's spilled over to the physical. And you wake up in the morning, you wonder why you're still tired, why you don't have any energy. It's because your mind worked all night. Your body lay there, but your mind wrestled, wondered, reasoned, thought what if, and how can I, what may happen.

Often, you're trying to control things that you can't control. You're trying to fix people that you can't fix, worried about a problem that may not ever happen. You're bitter over something that took place 20 years ago. You can't take in all those toxins and not be poisoned. You can't let anger, unforgiveness, guilt, and worry dominate your life. If you'll get your soul healthy, you'll get your energy back. If you'll quit letting negative emotions rule, many of these physical ailments will go away. It's all interconnected. Studies have shown that negative emotions actually weaken the production of natural killer cells that our immune system creates. That means your bad attitude can disarm the good cells that defend your body from disease. On the other hand, people who are happy, have a positive outlook, develop more natural killer cells than the average person.

When you stay full of joy, your immune system functions at its peak performance level, just as God intended. You'll increase your brain activity and creativity, which can help you overcome challenges in difficult times. You'll reduce the stress hormone and increase production of the human growth hormone, also known as the youth hormone, which slows down the aging process. The Bible says a cheerful mind works healing. That scripture continues to be confirmed by science, but you have to be mindful of your soul. My late 20s, I developed a redness between my eyes and all around the top of my face, made my skin flake, very itchy, and looked really bad. I tried creams and lotions, different soaps, but nothing improved.

I went to dermatologists, and they helped lessen it, but it never went away. Finally, I went to a different doctor. He said, "I know exactly what's causing this, Joel. It's stress. You're living too uptight. You have too much pressure. I can give you more medication, but until you change, until you get more balance, it's not going to go away". I was young, I had so much energy, thought I'm not under stress, I'm fine. Sometimes we can't see what's poisoning us, we have a blind spot. We look in the mirror and see a physical problem, but we can't see what's happening on the inside. Your inner life is more important than your outer life. What's going on in your emotions, how you feel about yourself, what you're allowing to play in your mind are all affecting what's happening on the outside. I was treating the symptom, but not the cause. I thought, just fix the outside, just clear up this redness, but it kept coming back.

One day, I got honest with myself. I was married with a toddler, new baby on the way. We were remodeling an older house. I'd traveled several weeks to India with my father. I was working long hours at the church trying to get the TV ministry going. I didn't realize the high level of stress and pressure I was living under. Much of it, I was putting on myself. Here's the key. You are responsible for your own emotional well-being. It's not up to anyone else. Your spouse can't keep your soul well. No one, including your doctor, your friends, your parents, your pastor, has control over your soul except you.

In one sense, not even God has control. He's not going to make you forgive someone. He's not going to force you to not live angry, offended, stressed, guilty. These are choices we all have to make. My question today, is your soul healthy? We can see your looks, your talent, your personality, but what's going on on the inside? Are you at peace? Are you turning things over to God? I believe today can be a day to make a change. The Psalmist says, joy comes in the morning. Every day, including today, God is sending you a fresh supply of joy. Every day is a gift to be vibrantly alive. He's given us everything we need to live healthy and whole. We just have to do our part. It's your time to walk in the fullness of his blessing. It's your time to get your soul healthy.

I found that I'm at my happiest and healthiest when I'm with people who inspire me to pursue God's best. My wife, Victoria, is an incredible voice of wisdom and encouragement in my life and in the lives of so many others. I wanted to sit down with her and discuss some of these strategies that have helped our church, our family, and our relationships grow stronger and healthier over the years.

Victoria Osteen: You know, sometimes having a healthy soul means checking your attitude. I believe sometimes, Joel, we can have blind spots. We don't realize that we have an attitude towards a person or a situation. We need someone who can speak into our life. That's what I've always loved about you because you're always so good about helping me see areas that maybe I need to improve on. The key to that is this. You have to be willing and open to receive those things because you don't always want to hear it. I know you've told me things before and I was like, "I don't want to hear that". But you know what? When you're open, you can begin to see where maybe that is a problem. Maybe that is hurting me. I think I'm fine, but I do have these places in my life. I've done that for you before, too. I think that's the whole key is to be open and have someone who is truthful, that can speak into your life, and you can trust.

Joel Osteen: Yeah, I think that's so important because it is easy to go, sometimes we've gone for years and we don't realize that we're critical, we're negative, we're holding this offense, or we're not treating people the right way. And even thinking about, Victoria, when I was growing up in the little Lakewood church, you know, when it had a couple hundred members, I was just a small boy, but there was a man in the church that was maybe in his 50s at that point. He was a great pianist, and he could really play, and we all knew him, and we all loved him, but over the years, he developed this real bad rheumatoid arthritis where his fingers and hands got all curled up, and he couldn't play the piano anymore. He couldn't really function properly, at least with his hands. And you know, we just thought it's part of part of life and just is too bad, but one day, my dad spoke a message about the power of forgiveness, and not carrying around things, and how these toxins poison our soul and even affect us physically. Well, he admitted, kind of like you're talking about, that for over 20 years, he'd held something against his parents. So, he went after that message, and he met with his parents first time in a couple of decades, and they made amends. He forgave and, you know, life was good. He did what he needed to do. Well, little did he realize, over the next few months, his hands, little by little, the fingers began to open up and just took it took a little time. But I would say a year later, he could play the piano perfectly like he could before. It was an amazing thing that it seems like that poison, those toxins, yes, they were affecting relationships, they were affecting, you know, his attitude, his creativity, but it was also affecting his physical health.

Victoria Osteen: You know, I think that's interesting that he heard that message and he knew that something was wrong inside. And I think that's kind of how we can tell. If you bring up a person, I wonder how he felt like when he thought about his parents or when someone brought up his parents. What was that first thought, those initial thoughts, those attitudes that first came up? You know, I think that's one way we can tell if we're holding something is that what are those first things that we think? You know, do we think positive or do we think of that time that they hurt us or that time they said something to us? I think those are indicators of are we holding on to things that maybe we should let go of? So, I think just that man recognizing that and really being convicted or convinced that, hey, you know, maybe there's something in my life. So, I think that's a real key to that healthy soul is to be willing to see stuff in yourself, willing to be open to know when there is things in your life that you should change.

Joel Osteen: Yeah, I think it is. That doesn't mean anybody's a bad person. It just means I think we can all grow and we can all come up higher, and just love that scripture, as your as your soul prospers, so you'll have good health as well. And so, I think it's important on a regular basis to look inside and I always ask myself, am I better than I was five years ago? Just in my health, my attitude, and how I treat people? Am I growing? And just think it's, God doesn't want us to get stuck. I don't think we ever come to a point where we have to say, "Well, I just have to live with it because it's just who I am. I'm just negative. I'm just critical. I just see the worst or I just can't control my temper". I don't think we have to get there. I think God wants us to continue to grow. And when you ask God to help you, like you said, when you're open, say, "God, help me deal with this, or God, show me anything that's in me that's keeping me from having energy, and health, and creativity, and reaching my potential". When you're open and you ask God, and like that man, when you're willing to make adjustments, you can come up higher and live the victorious life that belongs to you.

Victoria Osteen: I think you begin to recognize these things more when you are willing. Joel Osteen:. When you ask, God's going to show you anything that you need to change, and again, these may not be big things. It just may be that I can have a better attitude. I don't have to get upset when somebody cuts me off in traffic. I can handle the stress better. As we get our soul healthy, as we handle stress the right way, and not try to control everything, I believe that strength will come, freedom will come, and vitality will come in new ways.

Keeping your soul healthy can be a lot like gardening. When you feel unforgiveness or anger sprouting up in a situation, sometimes you have to dig down deep and find out where it's coming from. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, "Make sure that no root of bitterness springs forth and defiles you". It describes bitterness as a root. You can't see a root because it's underground, but if you let it grow, it's going to spring forth. Now, bitter root will produce bitter fruit. What's inside is going to show up on the outside. We try to fix the fruit, we deal with the symptom, but the fruit is not the problem. We need to go to the source and get rid of the root. Proverbs says, "Guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life".

One of our main responsibilities is to keep the toxins out. It's easy to adapt to things that are poisoning us, and we don't realize it. Offenses are going to come. Cranky coworkers will come. You can't stop disappointments, hurts, jealousy, anger. It's all going to come. The question is, are you going to let it take root and get down in your spirit, contaminate your joy, and steal your peace, take your energy, open you up to sickness, trouble, defeat? No. Keep your soul healthy. You have to be an active gardener. Pull up those roots. Pull up the unforgiveness. Pull up the insecurity. Pull up the guilt and condemnation. Don't let your soul become poisoned. If your soul is bitter, your life will be bitter. If your emotional well-being is contaminated, it's going to affect your physical well-being.

Why are you letting that worry take root? Losing sleep, living stressed out. You've seen God take care of you in the past. You've seen him make ways where you didn't see a way. You've seen him provide in a pandemic, give you peace in a storm, favor in the fire. He did it back then. He's going to do it again. He didn't bring you this far to leave you. Why are you still upset over what happened 20 years ago? Why are you still holding a grudge over someone who hurt you and walked away? Pull up that root of disappointment, that root of resentment, self-pity that's poisoning your future. It's limiting your potential, it's draining your energy, and weakening your immune system. Don't just deal with the symptom, get to the root. Learn to live from a place of faith.

You can say, "God, I trust you. I know you're in control. You're fighting my battles. You're ordering my steps. You have a good plan for my life. You're my provider, my protector, my way maker, my vindicator, my deliverer. God, my life is in your hands". That's how you keep your soul healthy. On a regular basis, you have to pull up the roots, get rid of the toxins, and guard your heart. As long as that root is there, the fruit is going to be bitter. The good news is you control what's in your soil. You can't control what happened to you, what someone said, what they did, but you can control how you respond, what you choose to dwell on, what your attitude will be. Is there some bitterness, anger, guilt that's holding you back, that's keeping you from flourishing?

In Psalm 119, the Psalmist said, "God, keep me from lying to myself". That's one of the most powerful prayers we could ever pray. God, help me to be honest with myself. Help me to look inside and see where my soul is not healthy. Help me to see where I need to change, where I need to forgive, where I need to be more kind and understanding. If you'll look inside and deal with things that are stealing your peace, taking your joy, causing it to compromise, then as your soul gets healthier, physical healing will come. Your gifts will come out in greater ways. Your relationships will be better. New doors will begin to open. The scripture says you will have success and good health as your soul prospers.

Notice they go hand in hand. God says, "Success, good health, good relationships, abundance, those are blessings that I have for you, but they're secondary to keeping your soul healthy". You have a role to play. Take care of your attitude, your thoughts, your emotional well-being. Make sure your soul is prospering. Most scholars believe that David wrote that prayer in Psalm 119 about not lying to himself. Maybe it stemmed from the time when he had an affair with Bathsheba. His army was out fighting a battle, but he stayed back in the palace. He went up on the rooftop to get some fresh air, and he saw this woman taking a bath, this beautiful lady named Bathsheba, and he arranged for her to come to his place, and long story short, she became pregnant.

David sent her husband Uriah out to the front lines of the battlefield, where he was killed. Instead of coming clean, he tried to cover up this toxic behavior. The problem with burying negative toxins is they never stay buried. These toxins will eventually come back up and poison your life. For the next year, while David was lying to himself about what he had done and pretending nothing was wrong, his health began to deteriorate. He was sick and weak. Here he'd been strong his whole life. He was a warrior, but now his soul was unhealthy. The guilt, the shame, the compromise started to affect his physical body. He finally got honest and admitted what he had done.

In Psalm 51, he said, "God, forgive me, cleanse me from my sin. Create in me a clean heart". He was saying, "God, I'm not hiding anymore. I'm going to deal with these toxins that are poisoning my soul". The beauty of our God is that he's merciful. He'll forgive you. God restored David, got his health back, his joy back, and he went on to fulfill his purpose. But until we get honest with ourselves and deal with what we know is holding us back, we're going to be limited. As your soul gets healthier, your body's going to get healthier. You're going to have more energy, more vitality. It's time to get honest. Don't go another year letting something you have control over hold you back. Get your soul healthy. Pull up those bitter roots. Start turning things over to God. Release the worry, the hurt, the disappointment, what didn't work out. Keep your heart pure and allow God to bring healing to your soul.

An abundant life starts on the inside and works its way out. You should be your biggest encourager because your happy, healthy life can't happen without you. Here are some words to live by. Every day, I choose joy. God has me in the palm of his hand. I never have to worry. As a child of God, I am unoffendable and quick to forgive. I forgive because I am forgiven. As the scripture says:

I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might.

in all circumstances, I will bless the Lord, for this is the day he has made.

God is on the throne. He is ordering my steps. He is providing for my every need.

I can surrender my worries, my burdens, and all my cares into his hands.

I look forward to tomorrow, but embrace the present.

I have grace for today, and God will give me grace for tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

I'll fight for those who cannot fight for themselves because my God fights for me.

my rest comes from God. He is the one who restores my soul.

I am who God says I am, and I will reach my full God-given potential no matter what comes my way. I have everything I need to live an abundant life.

No matter where you are today, your soul can be restored. Your soul may feel broken, wounded, hurt from mistakes you've made, or from what someone else did, but God is in the business of restoring souls. I believe that even now, God is working to restore you. Emotional healing is taking place. Healing from the hurts, the pains of the past, what wasn't fair, the loss, the heartache. Healing from self-inflicted wounds, mistakes you've made, regrets you're living in. Healing from tormenting spirits, from mental illness, from anxiety, from depression. God is doing a new thing. Don't believe those lies that it's too late, you've made too many mistakes, that you've been through too much. No, the best part of your life is still in front of you. I hope you'll join me next time as we explore more ways to live longer and healthier. My prayer is that these strategies will help you make a real change that lasts. Not just for a week, a month, but for the rest of your life.
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