Soul Care

What is the Soul?

September 13, 2020 


What is the most valuable possession that you own?

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Mark 8:36-37)


“What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances, or your thoughts, or your intentions, or even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that integrates and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self. It is the life- center of human beings.”—Dallas Willard


Many of us were taught as small children to pray a little bedtime prayer that goes like this:

“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.”


Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)


We each have an outer life and an inner life.


Have you ever found yourself doing something that goes against your better judgement?


Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)


Your soul is what integrates your will (your intentions), your mind (your thoughts and feelings, your values and conscience), and your body (your face, body language, and actions) and your relationships (your marriage, friends, children) into a single life.


Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me. (Psalm 103:1 KJV)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)


A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8 KJV)

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)


The word translated “double-minded” in the New International Version is the Greek word dipsuchos. Psuche is the Greek word for soul, and literally it could be translated “you double-souled,” “you split- souled,” “you fractured soul.” Sin fractures and shatters the soul.


A lost soul refers more to the soul’s condition, than its destination.


Though you have not seen him [Jesus], you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)


Discussion questions:

  1. What is a valued possession that you have?
  2. A “keeper” is someone in charge of caring for, maintaining, or protecting something. There are innkeepers, zookeepers, bookkeepers, groundskeepers, etc. Along with the parable about the Keeper of the Stream, what do these other types of keepers suggest about keeping your soul?
  3. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Mark 8:36-37 What does it mean to forfeit or lose ones’ soul?
  4. What does “the salvation of your soul” mean?

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