Man’ soul is the combination of his mind (intellect), emotions and will. The soul came into existence as a result of the spirit entering the physical body. (Genesis 2:7) The condition of man’s soul also affects man’s overall health and well being. Consider the following scriptures:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3 KJV
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8 KJV
These scriptures reveal man’s peace of mind depends on what he thinks and imagines. In Isaiah 26:3, the word mind is translated thoughts or imagination.7 It refers to plans and/or purposes that are formed in the mind.8 The word perfect is translated peace, peace. This means much peace. Therefore, man’s peace [of mind] is dependent on how well he relies on God when making plans or initiating pursuits. If man accepts God’s plans for his life, he will experience much peace.
In Philippians 4:7, the word peace refers to “a state of untroubled, undisturbed well being”. This is a type of rest that results from “the new relationship between man and God brought about by the atonement”.9 Once a man accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he enters into a state of well being in his relationship with God. However, since Jesus is his Lord, He is in charge of every aspect of that Christian’s life. Therefore, anything that would cause that Christian to become anxious (careful) is a ground for prayer. (Hebrews 4:13) God freely gives wisdom concerning any situation a Christian might face. (James 1:5) The wisdom of God brings light (Psalm 119:11,105) and life (Psalm 119:50).
The Word of God also instructs to continue in peace by submitting to the will of God and being patient. Cares are to be cast on the Lord. This will keep the Christian free from worry (a major source of health problems).
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6,7
Man’s emotional state is also a factor in his overall health and well being. Consider the following quote from a surgeon:
“The worst kind of case to get in surgery is the fellow who’s been in an accident and you are called to rush over to the emergency room and if necessary do quick surgery on him. First, he doesn’t want to be there. Next, he’s upset that he’s injured. Then he doesn’t know me, I’m a stranger to him. Also he’s afraid something is hurt real bad or he’s going to die.”
According to this surgeon, this is not the best circumstance in which to treat a patient. Before treatment can begin, the surgeon must, “Help [the patient] get his emotions under control”.10 Therefore man’s emotions play a great factor in his overall health.
Negative emotions such as fear, anger, bitterness, resentment and hate can be detrimental to one’s health. Consider what the following scriptures say about fear:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Fear is an emotion that does not come from God. It is a tormenting emotion that is not reflective of a sound mind. God’s solution for fear is complete or mature11 love. Love casts out fear. When a Christian walks in love toward God and the brethren, fear is cast out. Confidence toward God overcomes it.12
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth….Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another; even as Christ forgave you, so you must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:8,12-16
Negative emotions such as anger, bitterness, resentment and hate grieve the Holy Spirit. Grieving the Holy Spirit is not a situation that provides for man’s good health and well being. (Exodus 15:26) Therefore such emotions should be avoided.
The Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:12-14 provide alternatives to negative emotions. Such alternatives are kindness, tenderheartedness, forgiveness, love, meekness, longsuffering and humility. Colossians 3:15-16 advocates allowing the peace of God to rule one’s heart, being thankful and letting the Word of Christ dwell richly within.
Apostle John says faith overcomes the world. (1 John 5:4) Faith is acting on the Word of God. (James 2:18:26) Acting on the Word of God (faith) is a way of responding instead of reacting to situations that would produce negative emotions. Responding is remaining in control of one’s actions. Reacting is allowing situations or circumstances to determine one’s actions.13 Acting on Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:12-16 is a way of responding to situations that would produce negative emotions. Such a response will overcome those emotions.
Man’s will factors into his overall health and well being by the choices he makes. By choosing to obey the Lord and clinging to Him, man uses his will to insure his health and well being.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendents may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19,20
“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
Instead of accepting “the pattern of an age whose god is the Devil (2 Corinthians 4:4)” Christians are to become “committed to the ideals of the [Kingdom] of God”,14 (For ideals of the Kingdom of God, read Matthew 5-7.) choosing proper rest, recreation, hobbies or other activities. Proper rest and relaxation produces better work.
“And he said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going and they did not even have time to eat.” Mark 6:31
Each individual has a need for time apart from 1) the people they serve 2) the work they perform. Jonathan Edwards, an eighteenth century preacher wrote the following in the Preface to David Brainerd’s diary:
“Another imperfection in Mr. Brainerd, which may be observed in the following account of his life, was his being excessive in his labors; not taking due care to proportion his fatigues to his strength.”
Taking proper rest and relaxation is a part of glorifying God in one’s body. (1 Corinthians 6:20) One way this can be accomplished is by selecting a designated time, such as a day, for rest and relaxation. Physical exercise provides a diversion from work. It produces 1) a change of pace 2) a change of mind 3) a change of outlook. The danger of becoming too attached to one’s work is the loss of one’s 1) perspective 2) “edge”.15