02 December 2008

Soul Care

Yesterday I received several advertisements from stores that want to lure me in to purchase their goods. I was offered between 20 and 50 percent off of my favorite item. The variety of goods I could choose from was mind boggling. One thing was very clear, these retailers wanted my money spending experience to be as convenient as possible. I could go on-line and buy their goods. I could call and order their goods over the telephone or fill out the order form, include my billing information and put my order in the mail and credit would be extended to me. I could purchase things not available to me in the first two options if I drove to their store and shopped in the conventional way.

I was offered discounts on everything from electronics to food. I can buy a personal Breathalyzer if I want to be certain to drive under the legal limits of blood alcohol in my system. My hair, fingernails, bad breath, and hair as well as the coat, toenails and bad breath of my dogs could be made better by selecting the right products. If I purchase the right supplements, I can feel healthier, look younger and have more energy. I can even make these purchases and defer the billing. In the myriad of offers to choose from there was one thing that was missing. I couldn't buy a thing that would provide care for my soul.

Souls. We all have one and yet we seldom want to talk about them. Even Christians seldom ask one another, "How is your soul today?" Are you a Christian? Has anyone ever asked you about the state of your soul? Perhaps when you were being evangelized someone asked you where your soul would spend eternity, but it is more likely that they asked you what might happen to you when you die.

A few years back I went to see the movie Titanic when it came out in the theater. Visually it was a stunning movie. I didn't care much for the plot. There was one line that rang in my heart the moment I heard it. After hitting the iceberg there was a discussion about whether or not the ship would stay afloat. The first officer was asked how many were aboard and he correctly and succinctly responded, "2,200 souls on board, sir." They were more than people with bodies that would perish in the frigid waters. Each body housed a precious soul that might find its eternal home that very night.

These bodies of ours that we primp and pamper; tone and condition; abuse and misuse; and spend so much time fretting- over are nothing more than the temporary housing of our souls. It is true for Christians that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should care for them. There is nothing wrong with moisturizing and exfoliating our mortal coils, but shouldn't we spend more time caring for our souls? Shouldn't we jealously guard and nurture them? I know, we read our favorite Christian authors or we dabble with theology. We might be out there zealously contending for the faith, but do we really consider the welfare of our souls and the souls of others while we are doing so? When we renew our minds and improve our characters, are we really focusing on the state of our souls or do we simply presume that result when we focus on ourselves? Do we need to be more precisely focused?

I ask these questions sincerely. I ask because I am a counselor and my primary focus needs to be the care and health of the soul of those I counsel. I ask because when I implore a believer to read and believe God's promises in the Word, I am begging he or she to do so for their comfort here but I should be more motivated to exhort them for the benefit of their souls. Our comfort here should be a byproduct of the health of our souls and not the other way around.

Psalm 66:16 Come {and} hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul

Psalm 86:4 Make glad the soul of Thy servant, for to Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Psalm 124:7-8
7 Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Jeremiah 4:19 My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

Matthew 10:28 "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

James 5:19-20
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back,20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.(NAS)

No comments: