Monday, August 19, 2019

The healthy soul (2)

To what extent does our soul influence our physical health, you may wonder? The answer is: more than you think!

The numbers vary, but the majority (some statistics say more than 85%) of our physical problems are psychosomatic.

Psychosomatic means: a physical  condition caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress.  It often means that doctors cannot find a physical explanation for symptoms we might have. This is not a shocking discovery. It is something that can be found in the Bible. In 3 John 1: 2 it says:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Here, health is linked to the well-being of the soul. Quite a revelation, but also understandable when we consider what is going on in our soul. Secular writings interchangeably use spirit and soul, but Biblically speaking there is a clear difference (I wrote about this extensively in my book Grace of Giving).

The soul includes our emotions, our mind, our will, our memory and our imagination. Our soul stores things up, is sensitive, is easy to influence, can be damaged, but can also grow and flourish. Let me just mention a few scriptures as an example (read them in the context):
  • Joshua 23:14 ... and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls...
  • Psalm 35:9, ... and my soul shall be joyful in the LORD ...
  • Psalms 41:4, ... have mercy on me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.
  • Psalm 42:6 ... O my God, my soul is cast down within me?
And I can go on and on, you can search for 'soul' in the Bible. Taking care of good physical health cannot be separated from taking care of a healthy soul. That reminds me of the invitation Jesus gave:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11: 28-29).