This past Sunday I preached a message I called, “What Feeds The Soul?” as part of a series we called Whole Living. Our aim was to learn more about how complex we have been made by God to be BODY-MIND-SPIRIT beings. Too often it seems we try to compartmentalize the way we live and the way we understand ourselves, and in the process we cause greater harm in the name of productivity or personal desire by dissecting the essence of who we are as humans. All this to say I spent a great deal of time preparing these three individual message on the body, the mind, and the soul while trying to connect these together as they are in real life. To call this series anything less than enlightening for me would be a sad misfortune. [If you are so interested, feel free to check out these messages at http://www.fbclorena.org/media!]
Now this is probably the first time I have mentioned a sermon I have preached on this blog, and the reason is because this was one of my more challenging sermons that has kept me on the hunt for further information, better understanding, and greater growth. In my mind, one of the most misunderstood and ill-described features of we humans is the SOUL. What we cannot grasp, we also cannot explain. Phrases, pictures (like the one at the top of this post), and concepts through the ages have shown our lack of understanding the SOUL. We have “soul food,” but physical food will not feed our souls. There is a genre called “soul music,” yet not all souls are drawn to its rhythms and melodies. If you walk onto a Kia dealership, you may find those box-shaped cars that oversized hamsters allegedly enjoy jammin’ and drivin’ in, but I am afraid that the Kia Soul also misses the mark.
I have gone to the two biblical languages of Hebrew and Koine Greek to aid me in my quest. Nephesh in the former language refers to our “life force” that was breathed into our original humankind by God’s own breath, while psuche in the latter means literally “life” or “soul.” Trying to merge the two left me with this definition of the SOUL: Your inner life force, handcrafted by God to last forever. Yet, I am still grappling with trying to understand and explain the soul and its importance. Imagining our souls being “removed to make room for more sarcasm,” or hearing of people who believe we have the authority to sell our souls to an evil force drives me to an urgency of hope that each of us will take our souls more seriously.
Obviously I am one-sided here in pointing out that our souls are both real and important. But I am at last finding the UNcommon Perspective in my continued grappling. I can either become definitive and remain in my decision or I could become distraught with frustration…OR as I am finding, I will show my soul’s worth by being soul-serious. Believing how important the soul is drives me to keep on grappling, keep on struggling, and keep on defending how serious we should be about our souls and how they are nurtured. I want to be a “soul-serious” guy who will not even joke about my soul being replaced. No. To me it is a gift from God Himself that He personally breathed into me, and “it” is my essence that allows me to live life. How serious are you about your soul and its needs?