23 Mar “The Best Care—Soul Care” By Rick Moore
We all should be concerned with how we care for our bodies. There are all types of people who care deeply about what food they consume, where there food is from, and how their food is raised. Some are vegetarians, while others don’t care if there is still blood in their meat.
People are “religious” about their exercise, working out on very strict plans. Jesus does tell us that we should eat healthy, exercise, and care for our bodies. Jesus calls the body the temple not made with hands in which he dwells (for those who have put their faith in Jesus). Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
Let me encourage you today, to work at good physical care, but to also be determined even more to work at “soul care”. Soul care is taking care of your soul, the inner you. First and foremost you were designed for a relationship with GOD. Working at deepening that relationship is soul care.
I recently heard a speaker, professor and author James Bryan Smith, use this term soul care. It’s not new, but I love some of the ideas he shared. It is from his thoughts from that day, as well as thoughts from his book, “The Good and Beautiful God”, that I share the following thoughts about Soul Care.
5 Practices for Soul Care:
Simply get more rest. Calendar for sleep. God designed you to sleep 1/3 of your life (average of 8 hours of sleep per night). All science has been telling us for the past few years is that America prides itself on running on limited sleep. This is costing us our health. Take a nap and feel good about it—in fact brag about taking a nap don’t feel ashamed.
Spend time in silence with GOD.
You don’t need to do any talking. Just sit before Him, coming to him with an open heart, open mind, open ears—telling Him you are here to just listen. As you sit there in silence, take note of what thoughts GOD puts into your mind. If you are like me, you will get side tracked quickly. STOP, refocus, and pray to GOD, telling Him you have come to listen to Him. Sit in silence listening for promptings from GOD. Pause midday for 5 minutes just to refocus and be silent in the middle of your crazy, busy day and watch how GOD cares for your soul.
Pray the Scriptures.
Take a passage out of the scriptures and use them as your prayer. Take out whatever words you need to and insert your own name or words to make it a prayer coming from you. For example, you could pray Isaiah 53 as a prayer of praise back to GOD. Pray, “Thank you Jesus for being rejected for me; thank you Jesus for carrying my weakness, my sin, et cetera….” You could pray Psalm 23, not only thanking God for being your shepherd, but also thanking Him for restoring your soul.
James Bryan Smith says we should memorize paragraphs of scripture, not just verses. I’m working on this one! It’s tough, but it’s good. This allows you to really marinate in God’s Word. As you do this, watch and see how the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind his word.
Meditate on God’s Word.
There are seasons in your life that you need to slowly read just one paragraph at a time and stop to meditate on it. Reread the paragraph, don’t try and read through chapters. Ask GOD to speak to you line by line, word by word. As you reread the passage, see which words sit in your soul.
These are not easy practices but, if you start practicing them, not only is it possible for your blood pressure to drop, but your soul will be more at peace. As your soul is more at peace, others around you will notice and you will be able to tell them that it’s because you’ve been practicing soul care.
What is keeping you from these simple, yet difficult steps? Isn’t caring for your soul worth these new practices?
Paul said that if we care for our soul, it not only has future benefits, but benefits here in this life. Let me know the difference it makes by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P. S. This list of soul care practices isn’t exhaustive—let me know what you do for soul care!