Let me start with a question, do you have a plan to manage and nourish your soul well?
About 7 years ago, I heard two teachings by Kris Vallotton that have stuck with me, that I have implemented in my life and seen excellent fruit and I have shared to encourage many other friends.
The premise of the teaching is around managing our souls well. In Christian circles, we are taught in great detail about nourishing our spirits well. In general, there has been continual increased awareness around physical health, nutrition, longevity, etc.
However, when it comes to the soul, it’s often been treated as a second class citizen and often mislabelled as the flesh.
Psalms 23:3 says “He restores my soul”, 3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” What does it look like for your soul to prosper? Just like your body and your spirit, your soul has needs, these aren’t wants, rather these are needs. In similar way our bodies need oxygen, food and water, our souls have needs like attention, affection, adoration, etc.
Frequently these needs have been mislabelled as the flesh, and sure if these needs can be extreme and dysfunctional. However, scripture makes it clear what the deeds of the flesh are in Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these”.
The question is, do you have a plan to manage and nourish your soul well? Do you know your own soul needs?
If we don’t know how to get our soul needs met in a healthy way, we will find a way to get our soul needs met in an unhealthy way. Many drowning people end up drowning or drown people trying to rescue them because they try to get oxygen in an unhealthy way.
Below are links to two outstanding messages about managing our souls well. Also below are some notes from those messages.
7 Enemies of Your Soul
- Creating expectations in others that you can’t fulfill (or telling people you will do something without first counting your resources required to deliver)
- Imagining the worst in challenging situations
- Living in regret for your past mistakes and sins
- Refusing to forgive others or yourself
- Not setting boundaries with disrespectful people
- Trying to live up to the expectations of others
- Taking yourself too seriously
7 Habits of healthy people
- Develop a healthy rhythm for your life, don’t overpromise and under perform, keep some of your soul in a bank account
- In challenging situations, ask God what He says about the situation and play the movie in your mind of what it would look like for God to intervene
- Past failures become present wisdom when we process them through the cross, life experiences set us up to make better decisions in the future
- Make it your goal to have no offense against anyone, go to them and work it out, forgive them regardless whether they deserve it or not
- Set healthy boundaries, be loving to those who don’t love you but use wisdom
- Focus on pleasing the Lord and not people, when you put the Lord first, you will have more to give people, live by the expectations of God not people
- Laugh a lot, especially when you do something dumb, make a mistake or discover a flaw in yourself, life is not that big a deal