“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Matthew 8:36
In my women’s Bible study group, we were having a discussion about the soul. I asked if anyone could define soul, and no one seemed to have a good definition. One of my friends said that it’s like a little person inside you. This cracked me up. It reminded me of the little devil and little angel on each shoulder trying to influence someone’s actions that I have seen on various shows/movies.
This conversation led me to do some research on the soul. Here are a few definitions I liked:
- the part of a person that is not physical and lasts eternally as a person experiences death
- the fabric that represents us, our entire element of existence
First Thessalonians 5:23 says that we are all created with a spirit, soul, and body:
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The body is obviously our outermost and visible part, and by it, we exist and experience things in the physical world. Our soul, though unseen, is just as real. It is made up of our mind, emotions, and will, and is who we are within. The spirit is the deepest and hidden part of our being. Through our spirit, we can contact the spiritual realm and be in continuous contact with God.
In our world, we exert most of our energy satisfying the body’s appetites and almost none of the soul’s, which requires just as much, if not more, attention. When we feel empty, overwhelmed, or alienated, we tend to drown our thirst for God with distractions like television, social media, the internet, shopping, and work instead of being silent and listening to our soul’s needs. However, nothing but God ever completely satisfies us because the soul was made for Him and, without him, is restless.
Personally, I’m at a place in my life where I have more time to spend caring for my soul. I remember how challenging it was to make space to focus on myself with small children and a full-time job. However, it’s important to make time when you can, even if it’s just ten or fifteen minutes a day. If you don’t provide your soul with the rest and recharge that it needs, your well will run dry, and you won’t have any energy left to pour out to others.
What can you do to feed your soul? Here are some suggestions:
- Practice quiet time with God whenever you can fit it in
- Spend time in nature
- Practice yoga
- Help or serve others
- Cuddle your pets
Sometimes you have to let things go to take care of your soul. In the past, I have let go of several jobs and relationships that were draining my energy. In addition, there are a number of other issues that you may need to address in your life to best care for your soul – comparison, negative thought patterns, fear, pride, and people-pleasing – to name a few.
Take some time to care for your soul! What could be more important?
What gets in the way of caring for your soul?
What actions could you take to feed your soul?
What could you eliminate in order to focus more on caring for your soul?