I have been getting more and more post through my in box recently, advising me that in order to heal the body, we must consider more than just food and look to our minds as well. I hope regular readers of my blogs will know that that is something I often stress - the importance of looking at our lifestyle too. However, the latest emphasis - and it's funny how everyone seems to jump on the same bandwagon a lot of the time - seems to be on the care of the mind. Why? Because the state of our mind does have a direct impact on our health. I don't doubt that, having experienced it many times myself. It is also true that the state of our gut affects the state of our mind - its a two way thing. Stress is the main thing we all battle against in this fast-paced world in which we live. With ever more efficient targets to aim for, more work to be done in less time... you know how it goes! As an aside, I do often wonder where the inventors of all this think we are heading. What is the purpsose of more 'efficiency' when actually, from what I see, as a people we are becoming far less efficient for all our techniques! But never-the-less, we are caught up in a rat race to...???? Where? Now if the emphasis was rather on doing things to a higher standard, and better quality, that might change things a bit - we might actually slow down and start to take more care! I think though, that in many people minds, efficiency equals quality, but sadly it doesn't always. Reducing the number of workers and rushing them off their feet and paying them a pittance is hardly the way to produce better quality anything. So it is not surprising that to counter this, we are told we need 'time to ourselves', time to 'destress', space to think, contact with nature to help us get a sense of focus, etc.... Many ways of doing this are propounded, for example: mindfulness, 'Tapping', Yoga and meditation.
What we are basically being reminded of is that we are not just made up of a body. We have a mind too, but more importantly we all have a soul and that is often overlooked/forgotten/ignored, posssibly because it makes us feel uncomfortable; its an area we would rather not look into. Many link the mind to the soul and there is no doubt there is a link, anf many ignore the link to their peril. The mind is very powerful and tampering with something you don't understand can be catastrophic. The soul, though, deals with our moral nature, not just how we handle stress. But, as we all know, one part impacts on the other and you cannot deal with the mind and body, without also dealing with the soul. Whether we like it or not, we cannot escape the fact that we all have a spiritual component to us. We might say 'I'm not religious' as a way of pushing it under the carpet. Others ignore their conscience and push it out of the way and pretend its not there. But you can't. It won't go away. It's part of you. What is more of note, is that what you do with your soul doesn't just affect life now, but it affects your eternal destiny, as again, although you may wish to deny it, your soul will never die. In other words, while you are lavishing much care and attention on your body and mind, these will one day fail and come to an end. Your soul, will not come to an end. It will carry on going. Now that's a scary thought. Carry on going where? Maybe that's why many of us care not, for all our mindfulness, about our soul. It's too troubling. It's too confusing. It just makes us feel out of control - the opposite of what we are trying to achieve! But its too important to neglect! Eternity will be much longer than your life, however long, on this earth.
What do we do about it? Ignore it? Go to church? Which church? Be religious? Which religion? Too many questions, and many of them unfavourable to us, crowd our minds. See - they crowd our thoughts and trouble our soul (see, we can't seperate them) ...troubling thoughts and uncomfortable feelings. So we shut them up and hope they will go away. But they don't, they fester, like an open wound.
Now I don't want you to get the wrong impression. I'm not telling you all this to improve your health. I don't want you to consider your soul just as a means of prolonging your days here on earth. No! I'm telling you, because eternity matters. We are so mindful of lengthening our days here, we forget eternity is longer - much, much longer.
So what is the answer? Is there one? How can I know what will happen to my soul? What can I do to look after it when I am gone?
Well , once you are gone, it will be too late. So you must do it now! It is urgent.
Do what? Well first you need to know the state of your soul.
The Bible tell us the state of our soul:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (King James Version)
"For the wages of sin is death" (KJV) This talks of eternal death - seperation from God for ever.
This is a gloomy picture you say. I thought you would tell me what to do.
I am - listen. Listen to what these verses are saying about our souls. All of us - not just you. All have sinned. Many will deny this and say, "But I'm a good person really. I haven't stolen, or robbed a bank, surely I am ok?" But this verse tell us we have no excuses. ALL have sinned.
So what do we do about it? Is that it? No hope for any of us?
No, there is hope! The second verse goes on to say,
"For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
A gift? you say. Yes, a gift, not a reward. We wrongly think that our soul will be rewarded in the afterlife. We wrongly think that what we do to earn credit points counts something for us. You have been misled if you think this.The Bible tell us otherwise. We CANNOT do anything to earn our way to eternal life. I repeat, NOTHING! We are sinners, and we must pay for our sin by our own eternal death - unless..... and there is hope, we accept the gift. What is the gift? Forgiveness of our sin and eternal life as a consequence. The Lord Jesus Christ, who was perfect all his earthly days, allowed himself to be crucified, the most cruel death, in your place and in mine. He has paid the price for our sin, The gift is ready to be taken, but you must take it. You can't say 'Oh that's alright then, there's no problem." and do nothing. First you must admit that you are a sinner. Own up to it, see that you can't save yourself. Then you reach out in faith for the gift: "Lord, I'm a sinner, Save me!"
This is a gift indeed, for not only do you receive eternal life, but you are also made at peace with the all powerful, all knowing, wise, God. His son the Lord Jesus Christ is your saviour and promises to look after you all this life. His love for you is great and will He use all His powers to look after you. He will no longer be an impersonal God to fear, but a friend and Saviour. What peace! What joy! What comfort! Be troubled no more my soul, you have found a pearl of great price, a treasure beyond compare! You will want to please Him out of love for saving you, not fear.
If you would like to know more, then I would encourage you to listen to these messages from the Metropolitan Tabernacle in South London. Services are available live. There are many counterfeits out there. It is confusing. Basically, if anyone tell you to earn your way to heaven, don't listen. Its not a case of being good enough, trying harder, but "Lord, I'm a sinner, Save me!"