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"Here's To Your Health" with Dr. Kimberly Arnold

"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2 KJV).

Many of us have read or heard of this verse, but what does health really mean? When I was growing up "in the country" in Sumter, South Carolina, I was always interested in health.

My very first JC Penney catalog order when I was 3 years old was a doctor’s set. I bypassed all the dolls, kitchen sets, and other toys. I used to think that health meant not being sick.

I remember my parents taking medication every day for high blood pressure and my dad injecting himself with insulin for type 2 diabetes. I wondered why so many people in my family and community were sick. I wanted them to be healthy in terms of not being sick or dependent on medication for survival.

I was determined to become a physician because I thought that I would be able to treat their illnesses and improve their health. What I didn’t know at the time was that health is not simply the absence of disease, it is a lifestyle.

Another translation of the verse above is, “Dear Friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in Spirit” (3 John 1:2 NLT).

While physical health is important, it is only one element of health. As this verse implies, our spiritual health is just as important as our physical health. Overall, health is a state of well-being (also called wellness) that includes our spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial health.

We will explore these and other healthy elements in more depth in the coming weeks so stay tuned! But before I go I have two questions:

1. What does health mean to you?

2. What are some things that you do to maintain your health?

Click here to email me your responses! I'd love to share your tips as we launch this new health corner!


Dr. Kimberly T. Arnold is a public health researcher and practitioner who specializes in holistic health practices, community-based health interventions, and improving social determinants of health including food security, housing, and education. She is a proud and active member of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD.

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