Most of our conversation, it seems, revolves around our bodies and money: how we look, how to stay healthy, how to remain young, how to become wealthy. We spent 2020 hunkered down, masked up and isolated just to stay alive.
But what happened to the concept of the soul? We seldom hear the word mentioned, including in our churches. Jesus taught that, as important as our bodies may be, nothing is as important as our soul.
Regarding the body in comparison to the soul, He said, “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” With respect to money, Jesus said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
Horatio G. Spafford, a wealthy lawyer in the 1860s, seemed to live a charmed life enjoying both health and wealth. But, in 1870, he lost his son to scarlet fever. When his wife’s health began to fail, he decided to move his family to Europe. Delayed by his commitments at work, he sent his wife and four daughters ahead. On November 22, 1873, their ship sank at sea. Only his wife survived. Returning to the spot where the ship sank, Horatio Spafford stood looking over the swelling seas where his daughters drowned and wrote these words:
like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
Horatio and Anna Spafford spent the rest of their lives caring for homeless children, the poor and oppressed.
We are more than our bodies and more than our money. Our “soul” is who we really are, whether rich or poor, healthy or sick. Our soul is shaped by acts of kindness, honesty, virtue, generosity and faith. The destiny of every nation and every generation is ultimately determined by the soul of its people.