Challenging & Contemporary Insights For Men

Day 6 of 6 • This day’s reading


Loving God

Love God with more than your heart.

As I discuss the various component parts of this whole person, I may give the impression that I think of a person as nothing more than an assortment of parts. Let me state clearly that I believe a person is an indivisible whole. My effort ... is to better understand how that indivisible whole functions by looking at the key functioning elements within the human personality.

In discussing the parts of a person, many Christians begin by talking about the spirit, soul, and body. In my thinking, as I have already implied, it is more useful to think of human beings as composed of two parts: the physical and the personal, or material and nonmaterial. The body belongs to the physical side of man, the spirit and soul to the personal.

Although the terms for spirit and soul sometimes are used interchangeably in Scripture, many scholars have attempted to distinguish between them. I tend to agree with the dichotomists who feel that spirit and soul are not separable other than in a functional way. I suggest that the terms can most simply be understood not as reified entities or literal parts of the personality, but rather as descriptive terms that express whether the personality as a whole is oriented primarily toward God or primarily toward other people.

When I devote my personal energies toward God in worship, prayer, or meditation, it can be said that my spirit is interacting with God. That is just another way of saying that I as a person am at that moment interacting with God. When I redirect my personality toward another person, when I function laterally as opposed to vertically, I then am engaging my soul with yours.


Many Christian churches or ministries tend to focus on one aspect of the faith experience. Some offer well-rehearsed worship music that stirs our hearts. Others provide solid teaching, which inspires our minds. Still others focus on service that makes a difference in the world. Is any one emphasis better than another? No. God consistently urges us to love him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And while we may naturally gravitate to one, we should be sure not to neglect another.