How's Your Soul

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

When Is My Soul Home?

I have three small children. Unfortunately, multitasking is not my strong suit, especially when the multiple “tasks” happen to be high-energy, highly mobile humanoids. I tend to lose track of them. That’s why in our family, one of my main jobs is to make sure our kids enjoy their childhood, while Chelsea’s is to make sure they actually survive it.

Awhile back, however, Chelsea contracted a virus that affected her energy level dramatically for several months. She wasn’t able to do all the kid-related things she is so good at (and that I am so good at avoiding). That meant I had to gingerly, awkwardly, and amateurishly do some stuff I wasn’t used to doing. You know, like laundry. And dishes. And cleaning up the bodily excretions children randomly produce.

Full disclosure: grandparents, friends, nannies, babysitters, and little old ladies who didn’t know me but saw me struggling in grocery stores also helped. A lot. But let it be known, I went way out of my comfort zone. And I actually found myself getting comfortable with things I would previously have done anything to avoid.

Somehow I sense that most of you are unimpressed. Don’t judge me—we all have our weaknesses. Mine just happen to be wimpier than yours.

Here’s my point: we naturally avoid uncomfortable, unfamiliar, or awkward situations. But just because something doesn’t come easily for us doesn’t mean we should avoid it.

When it comes to evaluating our souls, I find that a lot of people get uncomfortable. They feel awkward and anxious when faced with authentic introspection. Opening up to themselves or others about what is out of alignment on the inside can sound terrifying. So they avoid soul-searching at any cost—like me with household chores.

How about you? When was the last time you looked at the state of your soul? How comfortable are you with asking thoughtful, revealing questions about the health of your inner self?

God wants to give us peace, stability, joy, and hope beyond what we could imagine. For that to take place, we have to get comfortable with awkward questions. Questions about our feelings, our thoughts, our fears, our motives, and our needs. Questions that are hard to answer not just because the answers are elusive, but because the answers are embarrassing. Questions that reveal what is hurting us and hindering us, even if might take some gut-level courage to deal with what we discover.

The apostle John wrote this to one of his close friends: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 2 ESV). I believe he was expressing God’s heart for each of us: that our souls would be happy, healthy, and whole.

God is committed not just to our happiness—which is notoriously fleeting and subjective—but to our wellbeing. And that wellbeing starts on the inside. So don’t be too afraid, too busy, or even too selfless to start paying attention to your soul. You’ll be glad you did.

Respond

Are you comfortable talking with other people about your feelings, hurts, dreams, and desires? If not, why do you think it’s difficult for you?

Why do you think people often wait until their souls are in crisis mode before they think about them? Do you tend to do this?

Take a moment to think about the state of the inner you. What are three specific fears, feelings, assumptions, or insecurities that could be affecting you?