Three days straight, Kathy could hear her husband, Al, from the hall as he worked his computer-based business from his home office.

“Ah-choo!”  Sniffle, honk. He then drew a ragged breath and let out a sigh.

Kathy reflected that though there is no cure for the common cold, he could be a better patient by staying in bed, drinking more water, getting a full night’s sleep, and letting his home-based business take a rest.

As she emptied the trash container of wadded-up tissue, brought him fresh ice water and pills, she hoped this bout of illness was near the end.

“Honey, would you like a cold glass of juice?”

Al replied, “No, Kathy. I don’t want to annoy the undertaker.”

With health in the headlines of every source of media daily, we may look for ideas that could improve our value of life, activity, and health. Both Psychology Today and Web MD  dispute claims that people who attend religious services live longer and have better health.

But heart health is what counts. That is, that your heart is aligned with the right guidelines for healthy living.

Jesus had much to say about spiritual health. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” [Mark 2:17 NIV].  He was at the home of tax collector Matthew [AKA Levi] when other guests at the feast criticized, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Tax collectors were entrepreneurs who were awarded a bid to collect taxes for the Romans. Apparently, the Romans didn’t give the publicans any guidelines on how much tax to charge as long as they got theirs.

For at the time of Herod the Great, tax was levied on produce from the fields, items bought and sold, land, personal property, housing, and a type of progressive income tax. But unlike today’s “Title Loan” businesses, which generate much profit, residents didn’t have a choice: Pay up, no arguments.

You can imagine that such a businessman as a tax collector was rich, but unpopular. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, they were considered on the same social level as prostitutes.

In spite of Matthew’s friends, lifestyle and social standing, Jesus accepted him as he does us. No matter where we are, there is a place for us beside Jesus on the road to Heaven.

Your cold, doused with wadded up tissues and sneezing, will go away in a few days. No antibiotics needed. But look instead to becoming well on the inside. Your heart health begins with Jesus.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and  website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]