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Mercy Christian Counseling

NCCA Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counseling with Temperament

Counselor's Corner

Counselor's Corner

What Is Your Relationship With Yourself?

Posted by mercycounseling on September 17, 2017 at 7:20 AM

As three-part beings, we humans exist in the realms of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

We are essentially a spirit (from the Greek word pneumameaning "air" -- as in Genesis when God breathed into Adam the breath of life -- it is what gives us life). It is our life force principle. When the spirit departs, the body is dead. 

We have a soul (from the Greek word psychemeaning the sentient, rational thinking, self-aware part of us). Even when our soul (mind) is not functioning -- as when in a coma -- our body and spirit are still alive and present together.

Our soul and spirit live in our body (from the Greek word soma, meaning, ironically, "body"). The spirit and soul cannot live in a dead body.

The spirit and soul live on after death, and the body will live again in the resurrection. (See Revelation 6:9, Acts 24:15)

Now the body is easily understood, as we have the senses with which to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. And the soul is understood, which is the mind, will and emotions; and the spirit, though less easily understood, is evident when we witness the life force ebb from someone at the moment of death. 

So while we are alive and conscious, all three areas of our being work in concert with one another. When we compartmentalize these principles, or when we do not nurture ourselves in all three areas, we cannot be truly happy or healthy. 

When God created Adam, He gave him a body first. (See Genesis 2:7). Apparently it was our Maker's intention that we should live in the physical realm of His creation. When God created, it was in perfection. Only in the fall of mankind did disease and death enter in. So to fulfill the first principle of God's creation (living in the physical realm), we need to value and respect our physical bodies. That means we must attend to the needs of the body and do our best to provide those things which the body needs to be healthy: clean air, clean water, unadulterated food, adequate clothing and shelter, and restful sleep; and provide all of these in sufficient amounts. Are you just acquainted with your body, do you neglect one or more of these needs, or do you really have a relationship with it that brings health and well-being?

When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, He brought forth both spirit and soul so that we could have fellowship with HIm and participate in His eternal plan. (See Colossians 1:16) How can we participate in His eternal plan if we do not seek Him with our soul -- our mind, will and emotions? Just as the body has needs, so does the soul: the need to feel worthwhile, the need to feel competent, and the need to feel loveable. These needs are met through various avenues of socialization, control, and affection. But we are not all alike in our needs in these areas. Our God-given, inborn temperament determines how these needs are expressed and satisfied. Without Jesus Christ we will never be able to satisfy these needs in a Godly manner. So we are advised in Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Are you building a Godly relationship with your mind through daily renewal in the principles of Christian life?

Since our spirit was given by God and is the life-force principle, shouldn't we nurture this life-giving force through a relationship with the one who gave it? We may be able to ignore God, or run from God, even deny God, but these behaviors cannot nullify the truth that God is the reason we exist. And no matter where we run, God is there (Psalm 139). When we fail to develop our spiritual selves, we become disconnected from the very source of our existence -- God. And while we may try to distance ourselves from the Creator, our spirit has needs that cannot be permanently satisfied by any person, possession or substance other than God. To build a relationship with your own spirit means to build a relationship with God. This is accomplished only through salvation in Jesus Christ. For we were made through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). 

I hope I have shown you that there are valid reasons why you must not neglect any part of your triune being. To neglect the body leads to physical illness and death; to neglect the soul leads to sin and spiritual sickness; to neglect the spirit leads to sin as we attempt to fulfill longings for significance; and if you are not saved before you die, to eternal separation from God, which is called the "second death." Revelation 20:11-15. 

Your relationship with yourself is as important as any other relationship you may have. That's why it's so important to take the time necessary to nurture and build your three principles: body, soul, and spirit. When developed in harmony, you will experience greater health and peace. Take care of yourself!

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