Ps 119 – “Let me live whole and holy, soul and body.”
A subtle heresy has spread among us.
Way back in the second century, a heresy called Gnosticism arose. It threatened to undermine the Christian Gospel because it asserted, among other things, that the material world is evil and only the spiritual world is good. This created confusion about whether Jesus could be fully man and fully God. It also led Christians to a lax attitude towards sin. “Why not abuse the body? Only the spirit matters in the end.”
Gnosticism drove a wedge between the soul and the body — and two millennia later it is alive and well among us.
It’s been a while — OK, a long time — since I heard someone exhort their congregation to shed a few pounds, get on a bike, or walk a few miles for spiritual health. I’m not buying into our culture’s obsession with appearances. But have we swung the pendulum so far the other way, in reaction, that we have forgotten that physical health often has a bearing on our spiritual well-being?
An undisciplined life in the physical realm is unlikely to produce a disciplined life in the spiritual realm.
The Psalmist understood this interconnectedness. This idea of “whole and holy, soul and body” warrants some consideration.
The Apostle Paul declared: “I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
My heart warms to the idea of “whole and holy.” That’s how I’d like to live. And that means attention to both body and soul.
Let’s say no to those TV snacks today. Take a walk. Pray. And ask Christ to make us whole and holy.
Breath Prayer for Today: “Whole and holy; soul and body.”