“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2
- How would you describe the current state of your soul?
- If your response to question 1 is anything other than good, what do you believe has negatively affected your soul?
GUARD YOUR HEART ABOVE ALL ELSE
“Every wounded being is compelled to metamorphose.” (Boris Cyrulnik)
Among the biblical recommendations regarding things we should guard and keep well, there are those related to our hearts. In the Bible, the heart, beyond referring to the muscular organ located in the chest responsible for circulating blood in the body, is also a metaphor for the entirety of the human being or their inner self.
As David Allen believes, the heart also represents the deepest part of the human being where all dimensions of a person converge: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. It is the essence of who we truly are and the source or center of our emotions, affections, feelings, intentions, attitudes, and from it flow the springs of life.
“The Annotated Bible of Neuchâtel reinforces this sense, ‘Guard your heart above all that can be guarded.'”
Reading this verse, a question comes to mind, which is why our heart (or soul) is of such great importance as to be the subject of such a recommendation? Was it just an exaggeration? Of course not. What the Bible is saying in this passage is simply due to four main reasons, which also constitute the roles of the soul. We must guard our heart above all else because the state of our soul always influences the quality of our life.
Just as the heart, on a physical level, is capable of communicating life to the entire body, the soul also communicates life. The author of Proverbs states that from our heart – our soul – come the springs of life. Gladys K. Mwiti and Al Dueck attest that the state of our soul has the power to positively or negatively affect our body and even our mind.
This can help you understand passages like,
“And so it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.” 1 Samuel 1:7
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted with grief, my soul and my body.” Psalms 31:10
Speaking of Hannah, she spent much of her life enduring provocations from her rival Peninnah due to her infertility. Both were married to the same man, Elkanah, and as a result of enduring many provocations, her soul was affected to the point where she wept and could not eat. Bitterness in her soul led to a lack of appetite. Similarly, regarding David in Psalms 31:10, the Bible reveals that grief had worn out his face, soul, and body. Soul wounds had affected their physical well-being, creating dysfunctions in their bodies.
However, beyond affecting the normal functioning of the physical body, inner wounds can also cause dysfunction in your mind.
Proverbs 15:13 reveals, “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.”
When the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. Sadness in the heart is capable of making the spirit broken. Do you see? There is, therefore, a visible link between the heart and a person’s state of mind. This is why, if not healed, inner wounds can lead to practices that, once maintained, will open the door to demonic activities that will negatively affect your state of mind.
We must watch and guard our soul above all else because it also allows us to express our emotional and affective life. When a soul is sick or affected by inner wounds, it can lead to emotional and feeling disorders or even instabilities. Wounds have the ability to become embedded in the core of your emotions.
This is why you may encounter people who have no pity or, in other cases, those who are insensitive to forgiveness or love; some even struggle to trust in the realm of relationships.
When trying to investigate what might be the causes behind these abnormal attitudes, you will be shocked to learn that behind everything that is visible are stories related to rape, abandonment, rejection, and many breaches of trust, thus shaping individuals who are unable to give or respond to love, individuals who are unable to trust because they have not yet been completely healed.
Healing is an imperative necessity for emotional and affective life to be truly expressed. This underscores David Allen’s statement, “True self-healing should always lead us to open ourselves to others. In fact, the more I understand myself, the more I discover my need for relationships, exchange, and sharing with others…”
This text is an excerpt from the book “HEALING INNER WOUNDS” written by Rémy BISAGA.