Big Heads and Spiritual Arthritis—A Diagnosis


© 2014 by Karen Friday

“I hope the baby grows into his head!”

I’ve seen newborn babies with large heads. Heads that outdo the body. The percentage of head size to body size is a little off. As they grow, their bodies normally catch up with their head.

Full grown people can have a big-head. The head that declares, “I am in control, I can do it by myself, I know what’s best for me…for you…in this situation.”

We all fall prey to having a big, fat head! Swollen with pride and “me” thoughts and “I know” thoughts.

Prideful thoughts convincing us how we can make it on our own, we don’t need anyone else. Big-headed thoughts persuading—we deserve to go to the top and to be served.

It’s the same big-headedness first seen—in one of the first scenes of the Bible. Adam and Eve in the Garden. The big-headedness of the desire to be wise—like God—and on their own. The boastful pride of life (Genesis 3, I John 2:16).

Big heads aren’t our only problem. Sometimes it’s the body underneath our head. Or when our head and body aren’t working together. A Mr. Potato Head in the box…parts not put in place…faceless without arms and legs.

Several years ago and coming on suddenly one day, I experienced a low back problem. It was subtle, only a little ache for a few days, but the inflammation was building from a joint injury I had sustained three days earlier. When the episode turned into full-blown muscle spasms and pain that made my legs buckle beneath me, I became dependent—needing help for everything. No room for a big-head—I can do this on my own attitude.

My body was not cooperating with what my head knew I could do—when I am well and able. When all parts of my body are functioning properly.

After a second episode and a trip to the orthopedic doctor, x-rays confirmed Sacroiliis—inflammation of the sacroiliac joints or SI joints in the lower back near the hip on each side. And a narrowing in both joints—a diagnosis of arthritis. The condition can be caused by injury to the surrounding cartilage or ligaments, the aging process as the joints can deteriorate with time, and other factors.

Several weeks of physical therapy included deep massages, electrical muscle stimulation, and exercises to strengthen my core—all of which helped to deal with the condition. My Physical Therapist reminded me of this truth, “We often use our backs for tasks they were not built for. Some tasks are only meant for our arms or legs.”

The knowledge of how to protect my back from further strain and management of arthritis is crucial to how my back functions as part of my body.

Just like a natural body is held and knit together by joints and ligaments (many parts), in the body of Christ we are described as being held together in the same way with Christ as the head.

“…we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which is it equipped, when each part is working properly, make’s the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV

How many of us have developed spiritual arthritis in the body of Christ? We are not functioning properly as we look to Christ as the head. Therefore, not growing in Christ, being equipped in Him.

Are we a vital, healthy part of the body of Christ? Or a joint that is not working correctly? Are we supporting ligaments providing proper range of motion as we serve in the body of Christ—by doing our essential work among those in Christ and those who need Christ?

Therapy, treatment, and healing is found in Christ for spiritual injuries…for a lost sight of our gifts and talents…to regain a serving attitude of Jesus followers. Through scripture and prayer the Lord will strengthen our spiritual core.

Do you have spiritual arthritis? Don’t ask your big head…ask Christ, The Head.



July 31, 2014 at 8:56 am | Uncategorized

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