We all need to take care of ourselves. Spirit, soul, and body. To take care of our bodies, we must eat and sleep every day. To take care of our spirit we must spend time with the Lord. But, how do we take care of our soul? Is soul care even biblical?
Is soul care biblical? Soul care is biblical because God created your soul to reflect His nature and image. You are to be a good steward of all that He has created. Soul care is the daily process of cultivating healthy thought patterns and taking inventory of emotions so that you can live freely before God and healthily form meaningful relationships with other people. If your soul is not healthy, your mental and emotional health and relationships will suffer. Biblical soul care practically allows you to practice a healthy holistic lifestyle before God while taking care of yourself and others.
In this blog, we’ll look at the definition of soul care and what it looks like from the Bible to take care of your soul.
Definition of Soul Care
The term “soul care” is not found anywhere in the Bible. However, in Greek, the word for “soul” is “psyche”, which has to do with the mind, emotions, and will of a person.
Your soul is a reflection of the image of God, as He has thoughts, emotions, and a will. Your soul can also relate, interact, and connect with other souls. Thus, you are to take care of what God has given you. Without a healthy soul, you cannot function well.
Here is the definition of soul care:
Soul care also has to do with the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in your soul to produce holiness—your sanctification—so that you live a holistic and healthy lifestyle that brings glory to God.
Our soul is like an inner stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other element of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his Kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream.Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart
What Is A Soul?
Your soul is what makes you who you are. It is not your body or your spirit. The soul encompasses all aspects of what it means to be a living person with intellect, emotions, and a will.
The body is the physical aspect of the soul. The mind is the cognitive aspect of the soul—that part of us that thinks, reasons, and plans. The spirit is the heart, the will, the longings and intentions of the soul.Nicholas Cash
We all know that when someone dies, they are no longer here—even though we can see that their body still is. That is because the person we knew was the soul who lived in the body—their personality, behavior, reactions, emotions, feelings, likes, and dislikes.
We are essentially spiritual beings. We have to integrate spirit, soul, and body, but essentially we are spiritual.Unknown
You are a soul who has a body. One day your soul will go up to be with God, but your body will not (unless the rapture happens first). Instead, your soul will be given a new glorified body that will last for all of eternity.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
Why Soul Care Is Biblical
Because you are a spiritual person who is made up of a spirit, soul, and body, you must pay attention to every area of your life so that you can remain holistically healthy. Everything you do impacts everything else in your life.
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
This passage in Proverbs shows that you are to value taking care of your soul because from it come the springs of life.
Think about it. When you do something relaxing or fun, you experience something life-giving. Your ability to laugh, feel emotion, have joy, build relationships, have intellectual conversations, and think logically all come from your soul.
But, if your soul is not well taken care of, you will experience the opposite of life. Your soul will become unhealthy and unable to cope well in relationship with others.
Soul care is important because your spirit is what communicates with God. If you do not have a healthy soul, then you will struggle in your relationship with God.
You are to be a good steward of what God has given you. This is why you must take care of your mental and emotional health.
Why Soul Care Is Important
If your spirit is not made new first through the blood of Jesus Christ, then your soul can never be truly healthy no matter how much attention you give to it now.
Caring for your soul on your own does not save you from eternal destruction. There is only one person who can save your soul and His name is Jesus.
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.1 Peter 2:24-25 ESV
If you have accepted and professed Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, your soul is saved. On that day of receiving salvation, you were also given a new Spirit, as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within you to teach you about Christ and help you live for Him.
However, in receiving salvation, you were not given a new soul. God saved your soul through Jesus Christ but you also have an active part to play in taking care of your soul for the rest of your life.
Your soul must be daily nourished and renewed so that you can be more conformed to the image of Christ.
One of the ways of taking care of your soul is renewing your mind. Paul writes of renewing your mind daily so that you can discern what the perfect will of God is. As your mind is a part of your soul, you must daily take captive the thoughts and desires that linger behind that are not of God.
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.Romans 12:2 NKJV
Biblical Examples Of Personal Soul Care
In some English Bible translations, the word “soul” can be referred to as “my whole being”. As you read the following verses, think of what it means to practically apply them to your life and how you can take care of your whole being by taking care of your soul.
Here are some examples of what biblical soul care looks like and how you can practically take care of your soul every day.
Love The Lord – Deut. 6:5
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
The greatest commandment includes the three aspects of a person: heart (part of the spirit), the soul, (also the mind), and might (strength of the body). This shows you how important it is to take care of your soul so that you can love the Lord with your whole being.
Obey God – Deut. 26:16
This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 26:16 ESV
Soul care is done through obedience to God’s Word. If you remain obedient to Him and walk in His ways, you will be taking care of your soul as He created you to serve Him. What are you doing today to obey the Lord with your soul?
Rest in His Presence – Psalm 19:7
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.Psalm 19:7a ESV
Resting in the Lord brings restoration and refreshment to your soul. It is life-giving. What have you been doing lately that draws you closer to Jesus and brings rest to your whole being?
Pray -Psalms 25:1
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.Psalm 25:1 ESV
This verse displays that when you lift up your soul to the Lord, you are lifting up all of who you are to Him. Often you may lift up worries and fears to God but can forget that you need to also praise Him and glorify His name as well. How are you giving Him all of you today?
Rejoice – Psalm 35:9
Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in His salvation.Psalm 35:9 ESV
When God saved you, He saved all of you, spirit, soul, and body. At the point of receiving salvation, you were given a new spirit, one that can commune with God forever. This was your justification. Now, through the rest of your life, He is working in your soul to make you more like Him—this is your sanctification process.
When you breathe your last and go to be with Jesus, you will receive a new body that will be like His. This will be your glorification.
This passage above also shows you that your spirit and soul are eternal, but your body is not. This proves that since your soul is eternal, it is biblical to take care of it now.
Additional Bible Passages About Soul Care
Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine: the soul who sins shall die.Ezekiel 18:4 ESV
This verse shows you that all souls who love God and have committed their lives to Jesus as His forever. However, all those who do not turn over their whole lives—their spirit, soul, and body—to Christ, shall perish.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV
You do not need to fear for the salvation of your soul if you have already put your trust in Jesus and are daily living for Him. Because you are in Christ Jesus, your spirit, soul, and body are sealed with the Holy Spirit. He has promised to keep you blameless until His second coming.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.Psalm 42:5-6 ESV
Daily, you must remind your soul that God is your hope and salvation. It can be easy to lose sight of who God is in the midst of your circumstances. This is why it is important to take care of your soul and encourage it in the Lord.
What are you doing to strengthen your soul in the Lord?
The Lord tests the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.Psalm 11:5 ESV
This last verse tells you that the soul is made in the image of God. It is your soul that reflects His nature and character. How much more do you need to take care of your soul so that you can be a witness of Him to others in all areas of your life?
Biblical Example Soul Care Within The Church
Soul care is also important and biblical in taking care of the Church. As followers of Jesus, we are to take care of one another’s souls.
This can be done by prayer, encouragement, spending time in the Word of God, singing worship songs, and fellowshipping with one another.
But be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.Ephesians 5:18b-21 NKJV
Soul care is giving attention to how you relate to God and others. The soul is how we form relationships with people. To develop and build healthy relationships, you need to have a healthy soul.
Taking care of each other is essential to how the body of Christ cares for one another’s souls. However, this can only be done if each person has carefully tended their own soul first and is allowing the Holy Spirit to work in them daily.