Everyone seems to agree to the fact that humans have three distinct facets to our being, Body, Soul and Spirit.
- Body – Our physical being: Our anatomy is a marvelous interaction of systems, processes and tissues. Each cell performs distinct functions that enable other cells to do their distinct functions and it all works together. Muscles, nerves, tendons, bones, organs, glands, and more, all working together in an incredible symphony of life. Amazing enough on its own, but there is so much more. Each of us as a physical being has a similar complex interaction with the rest of the physical world as we do inside our own bodies. We physically interact with air, water, food, heat, cold plants, animals, fish, insects and other creatures as well as the physical interaction with other people.
- Soul – our intellectual and emotional being – Beyond physical, we think reason and rationalize, we imagine, dream and believe. Though these processes have a corresponding physical process (chemical and electrical ‘brainwaves’) they are also distinctly separate. Physical observation using electroencephalogram (EEG) technology can determine “if” you are thinking or imagining something, but it cannot determine “what” you are thinking about. Our mind, our will and our emotions are a an essential part of our being that is beyond physical, but like the physical realm, we also engage our world and others on a soul level as well.
- Spirit – Our incorporeal consciousness – The vital principle or animating force within. This third part of our being is our conscience, our faith. Our spirit communes with God, it engages the supernatural realm. Spiritual activity interacts with our emotions and physical bodies; we “feel” the presence of God as comforting, and the presence of evil as fear. It is more than an auxiliary sense; it is its own distinct element of life, intertwined with the body and soul.
These three elements require one another to function properly, the discovery channel is filled with programs that show how emotional response stirs us physically, and physical response stimulates our emotions, etc. The intertwined nature of our being is obvious, yet we seldom intentionally try to bring them together… In fact we actually work quite hard to separate them.
We prefer to consider each element independently of the others instead of nurturing the symbiosis between them. Perhaps that is why we experience unexplainable tension and stress. We need to respond physically and spiritually to emotional stimulus, and spiritually and emotionally to physical stimulus, and spiritual stimulus should stimulate a physical and emotional response.
The spirit is often the most neglected part of our being; we don’t recognize that spiritual activity is vital to soul and body. As a result of this neglect our body and soul crave the spiritual element that is missing. Sometimes an extreme emotional response can emulate a spiritual experience, and the euphoria found in alcohol, drugs and sex can also mimic a spiritual response. For both emotionally and physically generated spiritual simulations, the results fade with each indulgence. Pain killers can mask an injury, but not heal it, in the same way only a genuine spiritual response can actually strengthen the body and soul. And a genuine spiritual response can happen only when there is a genuine spiritual stimulus.
Discover how to build your Spirit this week at the Word of Life Chennai Service. A genuine encounter with God might be what your spirit needs.
Consider Mary’s response to her encounter with God
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.