How is it with your soul?

August 2nd, 2016

John Wesley would open up all small group meetings with the question “How is it with your soul?” That’s a far deeper question than, “How are you?”

I mean, how is your soul doing? How is your spirit faring? Really, how are you?

It’s a jarring question because we often ask, “How are you?” out of habit and usually get impatient when someone has the nerve to actually tell us how they are doing.

Perhaps it’s a question we like to avoid because answering it forces us to really take stock on the health of our souls — which often leads to admitting that we may not be doing as well as we want others to think.

I've had to step back a bit here and there to really ask myself, “How is it with my soul?”

I've been going through a season of transition. I recently transferred conferences. We had to pack, find a place to live and move from California to Texas.

It’s really easy to get lost in all the demands of life. So we work, work, work and work. We’re so consumed and busy with work that we may not realize we’re running on steam. Sure, we take days off and vacations, but a lot us are still connected to our work. We work so hard and so much, we may be in danger of losing our humanity; losing the image of God in us.

So it’s imperative that we reflect often on the question that Wesley opened meetings with: How is it with your soul?

This question steers me to analyze my life and my habits.

What are the things that I’m engaging in that bring my soul closer God?
What are the things that I’m doing that are putting a wedge between God and myself?
What are the things that I’m doing in my life that really make my soul shine brightly and flourish?
What are things I’m engaged in that are draining the life out of my soul?

It’s really embarrassing to admit that I seem to be doing things that are not helpful to my soul. Or to be more accurate, activities which aren’t that important, but take precedence and priority over God.

The question also forces me to ask, “Am I confusing routine with commitment?” It’s rather easy to get routine mixed up with commitment because we do our stuff: go to church; read the Bible; pray before certain events/meals. And these things become habit… almost second nature.

The question, “How is it with your soul?” can help make sure that we still find life in things that we may have taken for granted because of their routine-ness.

Someone once told me that prayer is to our souls as breathing is to our bodies. Wesley’s question helps me to make sure my soul is breathing.

Reminding me…

to pause;
to pray;
to wonder;
to be in awe;
to laugh;
to cry;
to sing.

It reminds me that it’s OK to be human. And that it’s more than OK to admit that I’m not doing well and need a little help from my friends.

Maybe you could benefit from asking yourself, “How is it with my soul?” Or maybe you could help someone by asking how their soul is and then genuinely listen to their response.

It’s an important question that we should ask and answer frequently.

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