THE WHOLE PERSON “SOUL PARADIGM”
By Dan O’Deens
God is creative and although we are made in His Image, we are uniquely designed by the Master Creator. Your soul is your true self. Your soul is made up of Heart (emotions), Body (senses), Mind (thoughts) and Spirit (Imago Dei).
When we hear the term ‘wholistic’ we are really talking about the ‘whole person.’ I like to think of this as the “SOUL PARADIGM.” There are four spaces that make up our soul or whole person. Heart. Body. Mind. Spirit. Let me attempt to concisely define the parts that make us whole. (FOUR PART “SOUL PARADIGM” SERIES – Stay Tuned)
THE HEART – Part One
We are living in unprecedented times. Our hearts are being challenged. Feelings are raw! I intentionally did not use the word ‘real.’
Feelings are not facts and yet our emotion is at the core of what motivates our thoughts and often our actions. Being emotional is not a bad thing, but we must understand that what we feel may be far from the truth. What my heart is telling me may not be the truth. Our feelings are our feelings but they may not be real or true.
If your family, friends and colleagues say something to that you and there is clear disagreement, or you hear it with a sharp tone does not mean they are mad at you. You are in the ‘emoting’ space. You are drawing up conclusions based on feelings. When we make decisions solely based on feelings and those feelings and decisions elicit a response and action, the outcome is usually not healthy.
The healthy response is not to decide or assign an action to our feelings. Now is the time to listen and to learn. It is far better in this space to seek to understand rather than seek to be understood. When we reverse the understanding concept, we sabotage relationship.
I am not suggesting you suppress your feelings, but I am encouraging a time to reflect and check out the motivation of either the words or the actions of those you are choosing to invite into your life either by listening or reading what they are saying. Is it possible to disagree or have strong feelings toward another while still fully loving them and desiring to continue in authentic relationship in spite of our differences? If you are struggling in this area, I highly recommend the book Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Group.
Scripture is Strong on the HEART:
It is always a good thing to listen to the HEART of God when we are confused. Psalm 119:133 tells us to ‘order our steps in His Word so that sin will have no dominion over us.
Create in me a clean HEART, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Ps. 51:10
The HEART is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it? Jer. 17:9
Above all else, guard your HEART, for everything you do flows from it. Prov. 4:23
Trust in the Lord with all of your HEART, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. Prov. 3:5,6
How is your heart? True love does not divide. Divisions and strife come from the adversary and are evil. Will you dwell and meditate on the verses from Scripture that God has given us? They are true. They are real. They are right!
Is love a reality? Am I created to love God and love people? (need)
Am I aware of my surrounding and able to respond and emote what is truly on my heart? (intelligence factor)
Am I driven by the burning desires God has placed in my heart to enjoy life and right the wrongs in my world? (attribute)
Am I actively pursuing the activities that naturally energize, excite and inspire me? (action)
Am I on an adventure to explore and pursue the dreams and desires in my soul? (discovery)