Soul Care

There has not been a time in recent history when taking care of your soul has been more evident than it is right now.  Not that caring for your soul has ever been less important before now.  It’s just that we have become aware that taking care of oneself is more than guarding against a viral contagion.  Soul care is the word that I use in addressing the “entirety” of your being.  According to the Bible, you exist as a spirit, soul, and body. You are both material and spiritual in being.  You have a body, you have a spirit, and you have a soul.

For the last three months or so we have all been given a crash course in taking care of our bodies in defense against the COVID-19 virus.  Wash your hands, practice social distancing, wear a mask, and avoid touching your face are among the most common guidelines we hear every day.  Of course, we Canadians are uniquely blessed to live in a country where we have access to the best universal health care in the world. (We owe that blessing in large part to the hard work of former Baptist pastor, Tommy Douglas).

But if you take care of your body and neglect your spiritual being you will only be addressing one part of your identity.  And the opposite is true.  There are many very committed Christians who neglect the proper care of the body and suffer needless consequences as a result.  Physical exercise and a good hobby, for instance, can contribute a great deal to your overall health. 

In his helpful book, Soul Care, Rob Reimer refers to soul care as the “foundation” of the “building” of your life. It’s a good analogy. If you spend all your time on cosmetics but neglect the foundation, your life is destined to weaken over time.   

I’ve always loved the simple description about the life of Jesus Christ offered by Dr. Luke in his Gospel account.   He says that Jesus “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”  Jesus experienced life as a whole human being.  He grew physically, spiritually, and emotionally. That is God’s equation for all human beings. 

The Bible has a lot to say about your “inner being”.  I’ve learned from experience that most problems can only be solved from a wholistic approach of balancing the body and the mind as it was designed to be lived.  When I’ve tried to force a lopsided answer to a problem in my life, it’s only frustrated me.

So, if taking care of your soul is the foundation, as Rob Reimer illustrates, what would you say is the first and most important lesson you have to learn?  It’s a good question.  Dr. Bill Thrasher wrote a book called “How to be a Soul Physician” in which he teaches that one “can never overemphasize the resting truth of God’s loving acceptance.”  Until we learn the basic truth that there is “no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ” we will suppress and silence the invisible working of our inner life.  Christians have been given the most coherent and compelling pathway to a thriving soul.  Here’s how the book of Romans puts it . . .

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Stop right now my fellow Christian and park on the idea that you are God’s beloved child. Do you see it, accept it, and thank God for it?  You are loved and forgiven. 

That is the rock-solid foundation upon which we build our lives. 

Shalom church family!
 
Pastor Deric