Once we believe and invite the Lord Jesus into our lives, we must “go on to construct a Soul”. This is a quote from C.S. Lewis, shared by the late author and pastoral care leader LeAnne Payne. I remember when hearing this for the first time, how it struck me as such an insight of truth and challenge.
I had been a Christian long enough to experience disappointment in my performance and to see the failings in other believers. We all know believers who profess their faith, and yet show huge deficiencies in their characters. I recently spoke with someone who helps to arrange cruise events for groups. She has experienced and heard reported that Christians are the most demanding and the stingiest with tipping personnel.
Also, statistics show that Christians are less likely to tip serving staff at a restaurant. Where is the gap between the message of a generous and sacrificial God and the actions of so many who supposedly represent Him? What does it mean to construct a soul? I can’t answer that question comprehensively, but I will list some things that I have learned regarding the need to know self and to know God.
One, it is God who examines our hearts and reveals sin and disobedience. Secondly, if we allow for this interchange, God will reveal this to us and convict us about our soul health. This probing by the Lord is not to depress us or leave us broken.
Again, C.S. Lewis says, “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” With God’s prompting, our job is to repent and then cooperate with the process of change. To truly repent is to turn and walk another way. We choose to walk another way and He strengthens us to do it.
One way we offer ourselves to God for soul health is by reading His word. In Hebrews it says that the Word of God is alive and powerful to divide between soul and Spirit and the thoughts and intents of the heart. As we read, His word will read us. We need to develop new habits.
As we all know, the changing of a habit is very difficult. But through our choices and God’s grace, it is possible. God stirs up the need to change and we respond over and over again. We ask Him for His empowering grace, as we learn to say no to old ways and yes to new ways. I love the verse that says, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful complete it.” As we stay in a humble stance before Him and others, and keep an open and listening heart, He will guide us on the path to maturity and soul health.