Am I showing a lack of faith if I take medication?
I don’t think that there is anything inherently “anti-faith” about taking medication. Wine, oil, balm, figs, leaves and similar things are all utilized in Scripture to cure various ailments, and such use is laudable and encouraged:
2 Kings 20:7 And Isaiah said, “Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.”Jer 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?
Jer 51:8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.
Ezek 47:12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
Luke 10:33-34 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
1 Tim 5:23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
Read Sirach 38:1-15. The entire passage is an apologetic in defense of taking medication and utilizing the gifts of the physician. The fact is, God can use the things of this world and the advances that man has made in science and medicine to heal us. It does not imply a lack of faith to take medicine anymore than it does to go to a doctor or a dentist. We also have the responsibility, as good stewards, to take care of our bodies and provide for their vitality. Taking medicine and going to the doctor is one way that we do that.
The important thing is to keep the Lord involved as well. Pray to him daily for healing. Acknowledge the “Great Physician” working through the human physician. The amazing accomplishments that mankind has been able to achieve in science and medicine often lull us into thinking that we can do just fine without God. We must never forget that He is at work in all that is good.
Peace of Christ to you,
Nicholas Hardesty, WIMM Board Member
Director of Religious Education, Blessed Mother Catholic Church
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