From Your Pastor, May 20

From Your Pastor, May 20

What exactly is the soul? Is it something that we possess or something that we are?
 
When I was a kid, I used to be afraid that the soul was something I could lose. I imagined walking around and living my life but with an important, spiritual component somehow missing. But, that’s not what the Bible teaches at all. The soul isn’t an object. The New Testament Greek word for soul is psyche (pronounced “psoo-kay”). It refers to the soul, to life, or to the self. That last definition, the self, was so eye-opening for me. The soul and the self are inseparably related. I am my soul, my soul is me.  So, when Jesus said to fear the one who is able to cast “soul and body” into hell, he was referring to the entire person.
 
All of that is background to an oft-quoted Bible verse that struck me in a new way recently. Colossians 3:23–24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (NASB). 
 
This passage is the “get to work” memory verse. I remember memorizing it at Vacation Bible School when I was in elementary school. It’s a reminder that God is the one who rewards us and that any work we do is chiefly for him. It doesn’t matter that your boss isn’t watching; it doesn’t matter if your parents aren’t there… God is always present and we serve Christ. 
 
What I hadn’t realized is the precise meaning of “work heartily.”  To make it a little more clunky, but reflect the underlying Greek, it could be translated: “Whatever you do, do your work from psyche as for the Lord and not for men.” All our motivation and effort are meant to arise from the soul. Our full selves should be engaged with living for the Lord. He gave us our lives (our psychai), he redeemed our lives, and those lives are dedicated to him.
 
So, as you go about your day, remember that everything you do is for the Lord Jesus and that he’s worthy of more than going through the motions or external actions. He’s worthy of your full soul.
 
 
–– Another unnamed Pastor (who happens to have the same first name as the last one)