Something tragic happened to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. That day, they began to die. It was not just a death of the body; it was also a death of the soul. Death is a separation. There is a physical death, where the body is separated from the soul (Ecc. 12:7; Jas. 2:26). There is also a more severe spiritual death in which the sinner is separated from God because of his infinite righteousness (Jas. 1:15; Isa. 59:1-2).
We are better at detecting problems in our bodies than we are at seeing them in our souls, because in our bodies the problems are more apparent. We spend a fortune on healthcare, trying to heal our bodies. In the end, it is a battle all of us will lose.
Meanwhile, we are afflicted with ailments of the soul (Rom. 3:23). Most people treat these spiritual diseases as less severe than physical diseases, but in truth the soul is far more important because that is the part of you that will last forever. First Timothy 4:8 reads, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” This isn’t a proof text on getting exercise; it’s a serious warning against neglecting the health of your inner man.
Now, when we speak of the soul—at least the part of the soul over which we have some control—we are really talking about the mind. And when we speak of the mind, we are really talking about thinking.
So what kind of thinking determines the health of your soul? We need to guard our thinking in five areas:
- What you think about the world. Do you guard yourself against the evil influences of the world?
- What you think about yourself. Do you think of yourself as a person who has great value, being made in the image of God? (Gen. 1:26-27).
- What you think about the truth. Have you examined your faith against the absolute truths of Scripture?
- What you think about others and your circumstances. This has to do with your attitude. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you will respond.
- What you think about God. Perhaps worship is the most important type of thinking when it comes to the health of your soul.
Of course, no amount of thinking can make your soul whole again. That work can only be accomplished through the blood of Jesus, who died so that we can be set free from the bondage of sin.