Building Bigger Hearts Part 4: Soul Management
On Sunday 22nd November at our morning services, we continued our series Building Bigger Hearts with the topic 'Soul Management'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
Talk Notes and Summary
Have you ever thought about how important it is to look after your soul? Have you ever thought about the relationship between the choices we make in life and the impact of those on our hearts and souls? Our lives are full of choices, granted some are bigger than others, but all are important. If we make good choices along the way, it will help to ensure our soul is being looked after and it will allow our hearts to grow.
There is a lot in this world that isn’t what we would call enhancing for our souls, some even call it a “Dog eat Dog world”, and if you are constantly surrounded by people who think the only person who matters is them, or the more money you earn the happier you will be, then it’s incredibly easy to start thinking the same way, and make bad choices.
It is no bad thing to want to be the best you can possibly be, to want to provide a comfortable home for your family – these are healthy driven goals. But the problem is when these turn into unhealthy ones, like greed; self-indulgence; self-importance. These all lead to one thing – a shrinking heart. And when our heart shrink, our capacity to love and care for other people also depletes.
How we view this world and what we want out of it will greatly impact on the state of our souls and the capacity of our hearts to love. So what is it that you are living your life for? What is your goal in life? Have you ever thought about whether the choices you make regarding how you spend your money, or how you spend your time has an impact as to whether you are moving more towards or further away from your life’s hopes and ambitions.
Jesus spoke about the importance of our actions and our souls. One of his followers - Mark wrote the story of Jesus' life and his account we can read what Jesus had to say about this. It is in Mark chapter 8 verses 34 to 37. Click here to read that passage.
Jesus talked about denying yourself and having a different perspective on life. Denying ourselves doesn't sound like much fun...but it ensures that we think 'we' not just 'me'. Having a different life perspective means seeing things that are bigger than you and that there is more to life than the pursuit of the next iphone.
Our choices rely heavily on how we are feeling and where our head is at, and alot of this comes down to how our souls are doing. Everyone’s souls can be thought of like a tank, a petrol tank, with some being full and others empty. If it’s full you are likely to be completely content with your lot in life, busting with love of life and for other people. If it is empty you may find yourself having thoughts like – “I know I’m not feeling as happy or as loving as I should be. I don’t like it, but I don’t know what to do, I’m sure it will get better with time.” But the thing is, it won’t just get better, and things won’t change if you don’t do anything to change it.
Here are some ways in which your spiritual tanks can get filled up:
1) Intentionally spend time with people who will inspire you.
2) Intentionally deny yourselves one thing that will benefit those around you.
3) Intentionally spend time doing things which will deepen your spirituality.
4) Intentionally make time to read your Bible.
5) Intentionally make time to pray and wait on God.
6) Intentionally show up to services and Christian groups
If you want to look after your soul, you are going to have to be intentional with the choices you make. Sometimes those choices will cost us in time, or money, or even our status. But if you want to keep your soul tank full you are going to have to do something about it and keep doing it, or your heart will simply not grow. The great news is that when we make opportunities for God to fill up our spiritual tank – he always delivers!
Be intentional with the choices you make – your soul may just depend on it!
Questions and Reflections (to think about on your own or to discuss in your small group)
1) What is it you want out of life? What is your main goal in life?
2) Are the choices you are currently making helping you to get there or not?
3) Do you feel that your soul tank is full or empty?
4) If it is full – how can you do more to show and give God’s love to those around you?
5) If it is empty – what can you do to fill it up?
6) Name one thing you are going to deny yourself this week that will benefit others.
7) Name one way you are going to set aside some time to be inspired and re-focus yourself on your life’s goal.
8) For Christians – Be intentional with spending more time with God and other Christians this week – how are you going to do that?