Have you ever noticed how making changes in one area of your life can cause you to reevaluate other, seemingly unrelated areas? Take health, for example. You make the commitment to start eating more healthily and, over time, you notice you have more energy. Greater energy translates into a desire to move more, so you join a gym and start attending classes. Then you recognize that your stress level is more manageable, and you feel so great that you start enjoying your hobbies again, further lowering your stress.

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We usually hear words like "cascade" or "slippery slope" cast in a negative light, but the above scenario sounds like one of the best possible ways our choices could cause a chain-reaction! There are plenty of other situations in which this pattern can be true: think of choosing greater discipline in your finances and how that can create greater health in your marriage, or think of carving out time to spend, undistracted with your kids, and seeing their grades improve as a result.

Members of Liberty HealthShare have made a decision to put freedom and health back into their interactions with our nation's healthcare system. Because they have voluntarily joined a group of like-minded people who believe they don't have to bow to a bureaucratic approach to the costs of healthcare, their lives have the potential to be improved in multiple ways; often in areas they did not previously see as related!

Based on the core values of the healthcare sharing mindset, here are some of the ways we expect our members' lives could be positively impacted because of their participation in this community:

We Are Others-Minded

Liberty HealthShare members are motivated by a desire to assist one another during the tough times of life. This could lead to members engaging themselves in community efforts, volunteer and missions opportunities, disaster relief, charitable giving, and offering time and other resources to those in need.

We Encourage One Another

Members have the opportunity to send notes of encouragement to the members who receive their sharing dollars. The sense of well-being and purpose that comes from this practice might cultivate habits of encouragement in which members send notes to their friends and family "just because" or to let them know they are praying for them, in sending actual, snail-mail cards for birthdays and other special occasions, and in taking the time to encourage those we may not know as they carry out difficult tasks of public service, ministry, or other good work.

We Steward Our Funds and Our Health

Our members are asked to commit to stewarding the finances of the entire community by recognizing that the funds used to share in eligible costs come from their own pockets and those of other members. As a faith-based community, we commit to steward our bodies as the gifts and temples they are. This responsibility to stewardship could spill over into the careful management of finances within family and work dynamics, a wise approach to waste (even with resources and money that are not our own), and respect for the time and resources of others as we recognize the way our actions impact them.

We Compare Prices

As part of the stewarding process, we ask members to "shop around" in order to ensure they are getting the best price for their medical care. This allows our sharing dollars to stretch further than they would if members simply went to the closest or first-recommended provider. This same principle can be applied in many ways, from taking the time to clip coupons or drive a little further to a more affordable grocery store to doing the research necessary to get the best value for the price on a car or home.

We Believe in Personal Responsibility and Accountability

A key component of Liberty HealthShare's mission is the belief that our members are the best possible people to decide how to manage healthcare costs, both for themselves and for their families. We enable member-guided sharing of medical costs, bringing freedom in healthcare. We engage with our health and the healthcare system with the good of our fellow members in mind. This same attitude can find expression through the way we defend others' rights to worship and live according to their religion and conscience, the rights of others to speak their minds, the rights of business owners to conduct their business in the way that they see fit, and any other number of rights given by God and guaranteed by our Constitution.

For those members who choose to fully embrace the healthcare sharing mentality (and we hope all of our members do so), there is the potential for a positive outgrowth that far exceeds healthcare costs alone. Our members are a special group of people who believe there is a better, different way to engage with the healthcare industry, and that kind of spirit has the power to transform many other aspects of life. In divisive times like these, wise, community-minded, encouraging people are at a premium. Our members have a head start on those qualities.