“The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on.”
Josiah Gilbert Holland
In order for our physical bodies to stay healthy, we must daily eliminate waste. If we don’t, the toxins will harm our bodies. The poisonous substances within our souls also need to be removed for our souls to remain well. The soul consists of three areas: mind, will, and emotions. Let’s take a look at possible toxins in each of these domains.
Toxins of the mind include negativity and being critical or judgmental of oneself or others. Believing lies from the enemy pollutes our minds. Unbelief, not fully receiving God’s forgiveness for our sins, also makes us unhealthy. Romans 12:2a says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We make our minds new again by feasting on the truth in God’s Word, by telling ourselves the truth, by being grateful, and by receiving and giving God’s grace.
Unforgiveness toward those who have offended us is poisonous to our will. Habitual choices to sin, bowing down to our idols and loving something or someone more than God are toxic. The solution is to experientially get to know God, so that our love for him increases. When we love God more, we love sin and idols less and desire to please God with our obedience.
Toxic emotions such as resentment, hate, bitterness, anxiety, and worry eat away at our joy and peace, not to mention, cause us physical illness. Unresolved guilt of sin and trauma not dealt with, make us unhealthy. The solutions are: repenting for our sin, releasing our offense through forgiveness, and grieving loss and disappointments. Prayer, turning our anxious thoughts and concerns over to God who is in control of all circumstances, is good for our souls.
One-way relationships that tear us down and encourage us to sin, need to be either eliminated or boundaries set, limiting our amount of time spent with them. Instead, we choose to be with those who build us up and believe the best about us. Spend time with those who love us for who we are and where we’re at, yet they call us up higher and closer to Jesus.
Eliminating the toxins in our soul and relationships will make us not only healthier, but people whose lives are aligned with God.
“We take excellent care of our bodies which we have for only a lifetime; yet we let our souls shrivel which we will have for eternity.”