Invisible toxins like doubt, disappointment, and discouragement can contaminate even the strongest of faiths, leaving behind symptoms that affect body, mind, and spirit. Using a one-month detox regimen of Scripture, prayers, and faith declarations can be a spiritual and emotional cleansing agent to return to truth and a biblical perspective.
Bible Gateway interviewed Laura Harris Smith (@LauraHSmith) about her book, The 30-Day Faith Detox: Renew Your Mind, Cleanse Your Body, Heal Your Spirit (Chosen Books, 2016).
What do you mean faith can be fickle?
Laura Harris Smith: Well, faith is fickle because it tends to be flighty and changeable. One day you’re ready to leap off mountains and breathe under water and the next day you can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. We’re to have unwavering faith, which is what The 30-Day Faith Detox tries to help the reader accomplish.
How does faith become toxic?
Laura Harris Smith: Faith becomes toxic through the trials of life and through what one considers to be unanswered prayers during them. Divorce, death, financial troubles, identity crises, and especially with health-related issues, have the capacity to either make or break your faith. The 30-Day Faith Detox nurtures your faith and takes a look at 30 universal trials in life that are common to all and unpacks them one by one for you. These issues may have left chinks in your armor over the course of a lifetime; so long ago that you don’t even know how they got there. But they’re there, and The 30-Day Faith Detox confronts them and brings healing with a body, mind, and spirit approach.
What does the Bible say about bodily health? About spiritual health?
Laura Harris Smith: Plenty! 1 Corinthians 16:9 says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” Through this we see that we must take care of our bodies because, plain and simply, they are where God lives. What an honor! What a responsibility! And corporately, with all of us caring for our temple bodies, we make up the Body of Christ.
Our spiritual health is also top priority in Scripture, and not just in chapter and verse, but because Jesus described himself as things like bread and water. He told us to eat of him and drink of him, even referring to the wine as his blood. Of course, these were parabolic examples representing spiritual nourishment.
And beyond bodily and spiritual health, the Bible also addresses mental or emotional health. 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Soul is the Greek word psyche which, among other many things, means the “mind, will, and emotions.” So, through 3 John 2 we see that health is about more than the body, and that emotional health and bodily health are equally needed for a person to be prosperous.
This body, mind and spirit approach is the foundation for The 30-Day Faith Detox. It’ll nurture your whole being, not just one-third of it or two-thirds of it, but all three parts of it. That’s wholeness. “…May your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” (1 Thess. 5:23)
Why do people need faith?
Laura Harris Smith: For two important reasons: God’s pleasure and your possibilities. Hebrews 11:6 (HCSB) says, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God.” And Mark 9:23 (CEB) says, “All things are possible to the one who has faith.” So we see that a life of faith brings God pleasure and brings you endless possibilities!
A life dominated by doubt is simply not worth living. Doubt is like splinters in the fingers of your faith and will prevent you from fully grasping the impossible for your life. Faith pushes the ordinary toward the extraordinary, and the natural toward the supernatural. The 30-Day Faith Detox—despite all the media excitement over the physical detoxes which result in a total body detox by the end of the 30 days—is primarily a book about faith.
You characterize healthy faith as forceful faith. Explain that.
Laura Harris Smith: Well, I say that faith is force, period. A stubborn force. It will not let you let it die. If you don’t have faith you’re not even a Christian, since it took faith to receive Christ to begin with. But when this force begins to lose its forcefulness, it’s probably the result of something that’s happened to you between the time of your salvation and now; either bodily (a delayed healing), emotionally (heart struggles you can’t get past), or spiritually (a lack of trust in God or a pastoral wounding or dissapointment). For that reason, we must take a body, mind, and spirit approach to “reset” your faith, and that’s why we’re calling The 30-Day Faith Detox “a reset button for your body, mind, and spirit.” Then you’ll have a healthy, forceful faith again and the impossible can be accomplished in your life.
What are the major faith toxins you’ve identified?
Laura Harris Smith: In my years in ministry, whenever people come to the altar to receive prayer from me or my husband, their need falls into one of five categories: Health-related issues, Financial issues, Relationship issues, Identity and Purpose issues, or Social Influence issues. We spend six days in the faith detox on each of those five areas, digging deeply into them and restoring faith and vision in all of those arenas in your life.
Walk through a day on The 30-Day Faith Detox.
Laura Harris Smith: I love this question! The 30-Day Faith Detox begins each morning with a delicious smoothie chocked full of organ-specific fruits and vegetables (smoothie base from either bananas or yogurt).
You’ll have a devotional to read at some point during the day and contemplate the condition of your faith in that specific area of your life, followed by prayers to pray that erase any emotional residues these trials may have brought with them (grief, bitterness, fear, etc.).
Then there’s a healthy lunch which can be anything from soup to salad to stir-fry, using the organ-specific foods for whatever body system we’re detoxing that week. You can snack liberally from that week’s section veggies or fruits, or replace those with a snack shake from the book’s recipe section.
Then, at night, you eat a yummy entree with vegetables, optional meat, and brown rice or quinoa, with preparation-easy techniques offered in the recipe section. Both lunch and dinner allow you to choose which vegetable or fruit you wish to eat from your section’s list, and so in a sense you’re helping create the recipes each day. This gives you both flexibility and variety, while maintaining the peace of mind that whichever combos you choose, they’ll all cleanse that week’s body system.
Before bedtime there’s a detox tea to drink, followed by at least 8 hours of sleep. Before bed, you can contemplate that day’s devotional and prayers, asking God to cleanse your faith wherever necessary. You truly will go to bed feeling differently—body, mind, and spirit—and wake up feeling newer and newer each day. I’ve worked very hard to see to it that The 30-Day Faith Detox is a total temple cleansing.
What results can people expect after completing the detox?
Laura Harris Smith: The results are already coming in, just one week after the book’s release! Weight loss, more energy, healed emotions and a stronger faith. A total body detox is accomplished by the end of the 30 days, spending two days on each body system to gently cleanse and nourish it. Just about every trial you can imagine facing—from abuse to rejection to losing a loved one—will be addressed and worked through, spiritually. Emotionally, the mental cob webs that clouded your perspectives after these trials will be cleared away, bringing peace to your heart and new thought-patterns to your mind. As a result of this body, mind and spirit approach, doubt will no longer have any place left to hide in your life. The 30-Day Faith Detox truly is a restart button for your body, mind and spirit.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?
Laura Harris Smith: If I had a nickel for every time I used Bible Gateway I would be rich! In fact, I DO feel rich because of this great resource that makes all translations of Scripture so readily available at our fingertips. Also, I love the New King James Version and to my knowledge, Bible Gateway is the only site of its kind that carries that (or one of very few). I’m a loyal user!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Laura Harris Smith: While there are plenty of great detox books on the market right now, I’ve worked hard to jam-pack extra daily online help into mine because you need more than paper and ink to help you with a life transformation! So, to give you an extra winning advantage, I’ve included a link on the final page of the book that directs you to the free 30-Day Faith Detox CHALLENGE which provides you with:
- 30 daily videos shot right from my own kitchen where I make one of the daily recipes for you and prepare you for that day’s devotional from the book.
- a place to sign up for free encouraging emails from me during your 30-day detox
- access to free detox recipe cards from my personal website
- prayer for you while on your faith detox journey. I want to invest in you… body, mind and spirit.
What other detox book out there helps you—body, mind, and spirit—for a whole transformation, while also providing you daily help and inspiration right from the author’s kitchen?
Listen, when you buy my book, you know who I am, but when you sign up for the 30-Day Faith Detox CHALLENGE, I will know who YOU are! As a certified nutritional counselor, author, and minister, I can help you; body, mind, and spirit. It’s what I do. Are you ready to invest 30 days into your spiritual, emotional, and physical health? Let’s get going! The 30-Day Faith Detox is a reset button for your body, mind, and spirit!
Bio: Laura Harris Smith founded Eastgate Creative Christian Fellowship with her husband, Chris, and is the director of the Eastgate Creative Arts Conservatory. There, among other things, she mentors young writers all over the world in her online creative writing classes. An actress, playwright, poet, and media dynamo, she was a TV host on the Shop at Home Network and is the author of multiple books. Laura and Chris have six children and reside near Nashville, Tennessee.