Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health & Wellbeing
Wellbeing in God’s shalom kingdom is a restoration of all relationships
The “shalom” of God is shorthand for spiritual, social, economic and personal wellbeing. It is one of those now/not yet promises of God through Christ. The Apostle Paul knew what it meant to physically suffer, yet he encouraged followers of Jesus to “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) and not to “worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).
This peace offered by Christ is of a kind not experienced elsewhere (John 14:27). This shalom peace is the centre of our wellbeing in Christ. It is not merely a psychological calmness and rest from life’s concerns, it is a state of being in right relationship with God (righteousness), our histories (reconciled heritage), ourselves (personal health), one another (fellowship), wider society (civil mindedness), and God’s creation (stewardship). Healing speaks of the repairing of relationships that have been damaged, whether it be some dysfunction within our bodies, malfunction in our interpersonal interactions, or harm to the environment. This is why confessing for our involvement in damaging relationships is related to physical healing, whether of our person or our environments (see James 5:13-18). A healed, healthy and whole local church, practicing its wellness out in wider society, is an example to the transformative power of God at work in our midst (Matthew 10:8, Luke 9:2, 10:9), especially as it ministers to those on the margins whom society considers unhealthy (Luke 5:31).