I Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The human constituents consist of three particular domains: the spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit is our means of communicating with God, the soul is where the mind, faculties, emotions, and intellect dwell. Our body is the organic domain where the spirit and soul reside. At the time of death the spirit goes back to God, the soul lives on, but the body decays. The spirit and soul are inanimate domains and cannot be seen, unlike the body. Neglect of the soul is more serious than many people are ready to accept. Since we cannot physically pinpoint this area of our life, it may seem unimportant to nurture, to care for, and feed with good thoughts.
Description of the Soul
The soul is the inner essence of our being, and it is only when we exhibit certain behaviours that we are able to understand one another, and some causes for objectionable behaviours. The soul is our true self, which we do not consider the importance of taking care of this element of ourselves. Instead, we will encourage all kinds of distorted thoughts to enter, and hold on to grudges which often keep us awake at nights. When our souls are sick, the result will be physical pain, emotional situations, deceptions, and all kinds of maladaptive behaviours. Similar to the body which becomes sick and weak; the soul can also become diseased with emotional toxins of hatred and malice. Those sicknesses are expressed in the physical body, in our emotions, in and our behaviours.
The soul is the immaterial part of man, distinguished from the body which is the material aspect. With reference to mankind and the soul, Scriptures states, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The soul represents one of the three elements identified by Paul, which completes every individual for complete wholeness; “spirit, soul, and body” (I Thessalonians 5:23).
There are two concepts relating to the “soul” – psuche from which originate the term psychology which is the scientific study of the mind (psyche). Psuche is the inner self or the essence of life. The soul comprises of three elements: the mind: knowledge, wisdom, intellect; will: making decisions, and choices: emotions: desires, hopes, wishes, expressions. Those emotions can be negative or positive depending on the result of our assessment of an event. Another concept pertaining to the soul is that in the soul we find the domains of the cognitive (intellectual), and affective (emotional) which are areas allowing us to think, evaluate; and feel emotions some of which will be pleasant and some unpleasant; and the mind where decisions are made (Matthew 15:19). It is from those decisions we make plans to direct our lives regardless of the consequences.
What is Sickness of the Soul
Soul sickness includes all manner of emotional toxins and spiritual conditions which hurt the entire being. The spiritual situations include; unbelief, doubts, faithlessness, and lack of trust in God; while the emotional are hatred, malice, resentment, confusion, pride, self-righteousness, vengeful feelings, and objectionable attitudes. Those behaviours only open doors to the enemy and become instruments in his hand to cause damage and destruction. Sickness of the soul refers to internal negative interpretations of events in response to negative or traumatic life experiences. There are times when we do not discuss disappointment about an incident. What we do is to internalize our feelings, and this creates toxic situations of malice, unforgiveness, hatred, resentments, and the desire for revenge, which are old leavens of sin (I Corinthian 5:8). It might be inferred that many of the diseases which affect people, are the results of internal disorders resulting from hurts, emotional traumatic situations, environmental climatic conditions, and unhappiness about one’s life causing inner turmoil.
Analysis of Psalm 38
Soul sickness is caused by sin which has not been repented of. It could also be from sins which were committed, and the result is felt in the soul and body. There is forgiveness of sins.
- Sin (informs) on the sinner through your conscience, emotions, and behaviour. Those symptoms will intensify until you confess as in this case. Sin causes discomfort in the body, soul, and spirit: “(There is) no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is (there any) rest in my bones because of my sin” (v.3).
- Sin causes irrational thinking, and traumatic pains resulting in behavioural problems (vv. 1-5).
- Sin smells (reek) with rottenness: “My wounds stink (and) are corrupt because of my foolishness” (v. 5). There is the constant memory of a wrong that was not resolved, causing tormenting guilt.
- Sin affects the physical body and will cause unusual disorders and complaints: “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome (disease): and (there is) no soundness in my flesh” (vv.6-7, 8).
- Unconfessed sin is a great heavy burden which you are unable to bear: “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (v.4).
- When David acknowledged his sin, he confessed, and repented and obtained relief [forgiveness]. He said, “For I will declare mine iniquity: I will be sorry for my sin” (Psalm 38:18).
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