Well being, the five essential elements
A recently published book from the famed Gallup organization entitled appropriately, Well Being, sheds incredibly helpful insight into what it takes for us to be well. Wellbeing does not mean merely being happy. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with being happy or joyful, even for Missouri Synod Lutherans! Consider what God has done for us through Christ and it puts a smile on your heart.
However, wellbeing goes far beyond happiness. Gallup surveyed the peoples of over 200 nations and, apparently, populations representing about 98% of the world, and came up with the following findings. There are five key areas of being that seem to reflect the health or wellness of the human lot: career wellbeing; social wellbeing; physical wellbeing; financial wellbeing; and community wellbeing. In the ensuing months I will explore with you in depth the prominent characteristics of wellness in each category, and you might even be surprised by a few of the findings.*
Nevertheless, the most striking comment from Gallup was that it was not wellness in any one category of health that is important. In fact, most Americans can claim good health in one of the five areas of wellness…63% of us can make that statement. Only 7% of us claim to have wellbeing in all categories, and, frankly, that may be a rather hollow boast.[infobox color=”000000″ backgroundcolor=”f5f5e4″ bordercolor=”0f9347″ icon=”attention-orange” ]What is really important, according to Gallup, is how these five areas of health interact, how they balance with each other. When we are balanced in the multiple threads of our being, we have a much stronger rope.[/infobox]
Furthermore, Gallup discovered that for all people, the energy, the driving and motivating force for wellness is, of all things, our spiritual being, our faith! Imagine, a secular, worldly surveyor like Gallup, finally coming to realize what St. Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, shared with the Ephesians and Galatians, and today with us. By God’s grace we are saved through faith, not of our own doing. Our well-being is a gift of God, not of ourselves. Having been justified and sanctified by Christ, our faith flows in us, is matured in us in our Baptismal walk by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Oh, one other interesting tidbit; well-serving lives are lives well-lived. Can you imagine that?
* Well Being, The Five Essential Elements, Jim Harter and Tom Rath, Gallup Press, May 4, 2010.