What are the three parts of man? Spirit, soul, and body, right? It is important that we have plans to take care of our whole selves, however, there must definitely be plans and principles in place to grow our souls. Why is this? Our souls are who we are: our personalities, our self-consciousness, where we experience emotions, reason, and make decisions. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells us that we are made of these three parts and that we are to allow God to sanctify us through and through. What does that mean? All it means is that all three parts of us have to be made whole, fit, and well put together. We have to grow up in our souls by feeding our spirits with proper spiritual food and by putting in the work to develop our inner selves.
The body contains the soul, and the soul contains the spirit. The spirit is our innermost part (John 4:23-24) and how we are able to connect with God the Father. 3 John 1:2 states, “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health physically, just as I know your soul prospers spiritually” (AMP Bible). Here, we see that it is holy for us to be whole in every area of our lives. How do we feed our spirits so that our souls grow? Well, what’s your belief system like (Ephesians 4:14)? Who/what is in your ear? Are the traditions of man more important than what’s right and healthy for your life? Do you value hype, popularity, and what feels good over true teaching that settles your spirit and nourishes your soul? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves as it pertains to what we are being fed. When the spirit is properly fed, the soul grows. There comes a time in life and in our walk with Christ when we get tired of the same thing over and over again, and our spiritual appetites must change. Many of us are holding on to family traditions that do not work for us. Many of us are also still at ministries or on jobs where our season is up, but we are putting our growth in jeopardy just to either be loyal or to keep the peace. However, we have no peace inside because our souls are longing to be set free (Psalms 142:7). We have to make the choice to choose our growth over the satisfaction of others.
It’s no one’s fault if we do not grow. We have to take responsibility for our own growth and development. We have to put the work in ourselves. How do we do that? One way that we can ensure that we grow is to invest in ourselves. If this means going back to school or taking classes to perfect a craft, then do it. If it means going to therapy, then do it (Godly counsel). Even if it means taking a break and investing in a getaway just to relax and balance life, then do it. We also have to value growth over our fleshly appetites. Where do most of our resources go (time, money, energy, etc.)? Sometimes, we have to also make the choice to be free from past issues and traumas. The saying, “confession is good for the soul,” is based on James 5:16 (confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed). Go to your small circle of true friends or accountability partners that will cover you and release some things openly. It’s not the issue itself that will keep us from growing; it’s the covering it up and not dealing with it that keeps us from growing.
It is very important for us to be whole in every area of our lives, especially in our souls. The Father wants us to be complete in order to become everything that he has ordained for us to become. This means that we must ensure that our souls are prospering in spiritual and practical ways. We can grow by feeding our spirits with necessary nourishment and making choices that are healthy for us and by investing in ourselves to ensure that we keep growing. This leads to self-expansion.