“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
John Ortberg concludes Chapter 2 of Soul Keeping by astutely observing that our world has replaced the word soul with the word self. Soul and self are inverse proportionate: the more we focus on our selves, the less we focus on our souls.
In The Optimistic Child, noted psychologist Martin Seligman, who has no religious axe to grind, theorizes people are increasingly becoming vulnerable to depression because their selves have replaced church, faith, and community- and selves cannot bear the weight of meaning. The self is a stand-alone, do-it-yourself unit. The soul, however, reminds us that we weren’t made for ourselves.
It is only when our soul feels its worth that we can live in a way that really helps and loves others. We need to understand how our involvement in each area of our life is marking our soul. Sooner or later, Pastor Ortberg states, our world will fall apart. Then what really will matter is the soul we have constructed. As the well-known hymn by Horatio Spofford goes: “It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, have you tended to focus more on soul or self? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Attending to your soul”