Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
I work for a government agency that is self insured. That not only means government owned buildings, but government owned people, too. Technically, I am not owned by the government, but for twenty five years, I have basically worked for health insurance. We have a really good plan that is only a quarter of what it would cost for coverage with a big name company through my husband’s work. Not only do we have a lot of freedom in who we can choose for physicians, including the ability to see a specialist without a referral from our primary care, but our co pays are relatively cheap. I know how blessed we are, but youngest son got a clear picture of how blessed when we had to go to our local health department for some immunizations and a TB test prior to starting EMT school next week. We were shocked at how rudely the patients there were treated and how long they had to wait for care. While we also received the run around and some cold shoulders, it was clear that we received better treatment than others. Youngest son noticed as well and I reminded him, “This is what life is like if you do not have health insurance. You have never had the misfortune to depend on a place like this for good health. Do not forget this moment and how it feels to have to come here for treatment. Many of the people you will run into in your emergency medical work will not have health insurance and some will find it easier to wait until they are so sick that they need emergency medical help before they will come back here and be treated so poorly.” In contrast, my health insurance treats us like royalty. We are coaxed and cajoled into better health with all kinds of programs to encourage us to exercise, lose weight, eat healthy and treat our bodies well. If we go to the doctor for an annual physical, take our children to the dentist, join exercise classes, or participate in healthy lifestyle programs, we actually get paid in “health bucks” which are redeemable for copays or eyeglasses. This week began the “Biggest Loser” competition. If you lose 10% of your body mass index, you get an additional $144 in health bucks. For me, that breaks down to $7.00 a pound. I’m back to eating tuna for lunch and going to the gym every day. I hate every minute of it, but just remember that keeping the cake and cookies out of my mouth will put more money in my pocket. If money were not the only incentive, I have God’s Word that tells me that the way I treat my body reflects how much I honor my Creator. Looking at my middle, you would think I had no respect for God. Hopefully, by taking care of this “temple”, I will also show how thankful I am for good health and health insurance.