What is the Soul of man?
Soul comprises of our mind (thoughts), our emotion (our feelings), and our will (making choices). It is what is commonly referred to as our ‘personality’. All the three components of the soul are closely connected! What we think affects our feelings and the choices we make too! Thinking about something long enough therefore determines our actions.
Our thoughts, feelings and actions therefore determine the quality of our lives.
Spring cleaning, in a much broader sense refers to any kind of intense cleaning or initiative to set things right. A person who gets her affairs in order before a significant inspection could be said to be doing some spring cleaning.
Rested Vs Restless:
Restfulness is characteristic of a soul that is anchored and secure in Christ’s love and acceptance! This is a state of rest and assurance that is the starting point in this journey of seeking and growing into maturity and perfection. You may not have answers to all the questions in your life, but for some reason, you are not troubled by it.
Are you seen making a conscious effort to enter and experience restfulness even before working on your weaknesses? (Hebrews 3:11, 18)
Repentant Vs Rationalising:
What is our reaction to our own mistakes or failings? A transforming soul responds not with guilt and condemnation but to divine conviction.
Are you prone to seeking scapegoats in circumstances, people or our fallen personalities? With age, is your ability to openly admit we are wrong increasing or decreasing? Is the time taken to repent and restore with God and people getting progressively longer or shorter?
Reconciliatory Vs Stubborn:
Forgiveness is a problem for most of us-especially when we have been wronged without provocation, pointed fingers at, taken for a ride and so on. Are we seen to be less vengeful and able to say like Joseph did in Genesis 50:15, “Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended for good to …save lives”.
Responsive Vs Insulated:
Pressures and painful experiences can harden even the most sensitive of human hearts. It tends to make us sceptical, callous, and insensitive. Survival and Self-centeredness wrestle to take predominance.
Are you seen growing more and more responsive to the needs of people around you? Or are you seen becoming increasingly lukewarm and an insulated island of self-sufficiency and indifference to people’s needs?
Restrained Vs Compulsive:
A soul responding to growth displays a greater degree of quietness and confidence in God and His timing in life situations, even in difficult circumstances! There is less and less compulsive behaviour like proving, arguing or trying to cover up the inadequacy, fear, loneliness or guilt we feel.
Is your dependence on comfort foods or phone calls and compulsive shopping/outings reducing in frequency?!
Revelation Vs Information:
Revelation means “unveiling”, that is, making known something that has been hidden”. Such a person is found seeking opportunities to learn, apply and grow. Revelation knowledge therefore gives a divine perspective to seemingly insurmountable issues.
Don’t we often recognise God responding to a question or a thought that crosses your mind with answers, from unexpected sources at unexpected times? Do you recall, reflect and respond to these answers from God, so that you will increase gaining new insights from God’s divine perspective. This not only adds to ‘knowledge’ but also influences your choices and actions.
Receptive Vs Stonewalling:
A receptive person is observably less critical and actively open to teaching and even correction. We then become receptive to God’s unceasing ministering to our needs in multiple ways – smiles, an encouraging word, people, books, messages etc.
Do you perceive an active participation from God in your life? Do you find yourself thanking people who bless you and have a word of appreciation for all around you?
Restored Vs Resigned:
Occasional derailing, failing or stumbling happens to most of us growing believers! Saddled with guilt and self-condemnation or even anger against God, many believers resign to a lower level of living and even give up their faith.
Are you able to get back on the rails, to continue walk with Christ? Or does brokenness or shame often overwhelm you from accepting any forgiveness from others or even God, and enjoy supernatural peace!?
Rejoicing Vs Burdened:
“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” (Phil 4:4)
As we grow in faith, do you find yourselves experiencing an increased lightness in the soul – happier and more peaceful? Do those around you observe an increased enjoyment and optimism in you? Or are you, with age, seen to be worrying increasingly about the future of your family or your own life?
Resilient Vs Paralysed:
Our thoughts, feelings and actions determine the quality of our lives
Our ability to bounce back to productive functioning and rational thinking indicates the extent of anchoring in Christ. Or do you find break-ups or death or financial reverses, causing enduring pain and brokenness leaving you paralysed and dysfunctional for long periods (may be for life)?
Now that you have honestly evaluated your soul – position and progress in each of these areas. It is good to concentrate on practical ways to set things right.
We will continue in the next edition on how to set ourselves on a dynamic state of growth, making our lives count for God!