Welcome to the first session of How’s Your Soul? In this study you will explore what it means to have a healthy soul. The apostle John wrote,
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
We are going to explore what it means to be healthy and whole on the inside: our minds, our wills, and our emotions.
Before we begin, it is helpful to define what we mean by the term soul. David wrote in Psalm 103:1,
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
In this verse, David equates his soul with his inner self: “All that is within me.” Your soul is “all that is within” you. Your soul is not your eye color or your height. It’s not your hairline or your waistline (thank God). It’s not your name, your education, or your bank account.
Your soul is the invisible but incredibly significant part of you that thinks, feels, and decides.
During this first week, we are asking the question, “When is my soul home?” We will look at the origin and creation of the human soul, which gives us a clue about where our souls can truly be at home, at rest, and at ease.
The following are a few key thoughts to note as you watch session one of the video. Use the space provided to jot down personal observations or applications.
It is possible to have everything look good on the outside but to be unwell, small, and unsuccessful on the inside. True success is not determined or gauged by the outside but rather by the inside. Much — if not most — of life is the result of who we are on the inside.
When God created Adam, he was just a form. He was just a body. It wasn’t until God breathed His own life into him that he became a living soul, a living being. Our outside form isn’t what makes us alive — our soul is what makes us alive.
Our souls come from the breath of God. We are living on the borrowed breath of God.
When it comes to our souls, we are often nomadic: our souls don’t have a place to belong, a place to rest. They are restless and homeless. But if our physical bodies need a place to call home, how much more do our souls need homes?
God’s breath is the origin of our souls. Therefore, our souls return home when we use our borrowed breath to return praise to God. Psalm 150:6 tells us that everything with breath — everything with a soul — should praise God. Gratitude and worship have incredible power to bring health to our souls.
Mary and Martha illustrate two different approaches to God. Martha was worried and troubled because of what she had to do. She was unwell in her soul. Mary didn’t do anything except listen to the love and acceptance of Jesus. Yet Jesus said she had discovered the one essential thing in life.
Our souls find their homes when they return to the creator, God; when they lean into His love, listen to Him, and stay close to Him. That is when we are truly healthy on the inside.
Take a few minutes to discuss the following questions with your group.
- How would you define or describe the concept of the soul? What is your soul?
- How important is it to have a healthy soul? What are some benefits of a healthy soul? What are some negative results of an unhealthy soul?
- How would you describe the feeling of being at home?
- What does the idea of our souls needing to go home mean to you?
- What does the origin of the human soul — when God breathed into Adam’s lifeless body and created a living soul — indicate about the soul’s original home?
- What was the difference between Mary’s approach to Jesus and Martha’s? What do you think the “one thing” was that Mary did?
Close your time together in prayer. Here are a few ideas of what you could pray about based on the topic of this session:
- Pray for God to help you evaluate the health of your soul and discover areas that could improve.
- Pray that you would be more aware of God’s presence and reality in your life.
- Pray that you could, like Mary, learn to just “be with Jesus” and enjoy His love.
- As a practical way of using your soul to bless God, take a few moments to thank God for who He is and what He has done.
Once or twice this week, set aside ten minutes to just be with Jesus, like Mary did. It would be helpful to find a quiet place with no distractions. Maybe put on soft music to help you focus. Then spend time just thinking about who God is, what He has done for you, and how much He loves you. If you want, come prepared next week to share how you felt afterward.
Review the introduction and chapter 1 in the book How’s Your Soul? Use the space provided to write any key points or questions you want to bring to the next group meeting.
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Come share your thoughts on Session 1 of How’s Your Soul on our blog. We want to chat with you!