I got soul, but I’m not a soldier – The Killers, All These Things That I’ve Done
Even though this article seems specific to a church/ministry organization, I have struggled with this at work. Especially when I am in the office alone, working through lunch, and a female co-worker decides to eat her lunch at work and wants to talk. There is a fine line between being professional and alienation.
It’s important—especially as seemingly more and more Christian leaders are caught in a scandal—to make sure the right boundaries are in place to protect your marriage, your ministry, and your soul.
But in doing so, it’s easy to put up so many boundaries you alienate yourself or stifle the giftedness and friendship of the opposite gender.
When our souls are out of alignment with God’s truth, life can become a daily struggle. The “inside you” takes over, with false feelings reactive to present circumstances. In panic, we let external forces dictate what is true.
Do you ever feel like you are just surviving, struggling to live one day at a time? I know I often do. Judah Smith writes that survival is not enough. Frustration, restlessness, and boredom do not have to be the soundtrack of our lives. Rest and fulfillment can be found in the soul’s true home: God.
Judah Smith’s How’s Your Soul? is challenging:
“It’s easy to love those who love you. That’s what Jesus told his disciples in his famous Sermon the Mount (Matthew 5:43-47). But it takes a divine love, a supernatural love, to love those who do not love us back. Yet that’s the only kind of love that will change the world. And it’s the only kind of love that will bring lasting satisfaction and health for our souls.”
How’s Your Soul? is also one of those books I haven’t wanted to read. Truth bombs hurt! But God has been using this book to work on me. Calling out areas of my life where I’m struggling but didn’t realize it.
“People sign up for helicopter Jesus all the time. I cannot wait to follow Jesus, they think, because he’s my heavenly helicopter. Get me out, Father! Hoist away, Jesus! Beam me up, Scotty! I think I just inserted Star Trek into the Trinity. Sorry about that. Storms hit, and we say, “Jesus, I don’t want to stay here. I don’t like this at all. It’s windy. It’s rainy. The waves are big. Where is my heavenly helicopter?” And Jesus replies, “I’ll be your anchor.” We want out. We want an escape. We want someone to remove us from the storm, but Jesus wants to be our strength and stability in the storm.”
I recommend How’s Your Soul? Especially if you find yourself treading water. Just prepare for a spiritual shake-up, Judah holds nothing back.
I was given a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, is an RPG on the PS3. Co-developed by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, the game features stunning animation and a child-like story.
Ni No Kuni starts out on an UP note. This trauma inducing event propels the protagonist, Oliver, on an epic journey to a parallel world. It is there that an evil being, Shadar, is wrecking havoc on the lands denizens. Shadar is a dark menace who enjoys stealing parts of the soul. With every yin comes a yang–this is a Japanese RPG after all–, the showdown between Shadar and Oliver “the pure-hearted one” is only a matter of hours of leveling.
The Soul Connection
One of the core components of Ni No Kuni is soul restoration. Example: Say Shadar took a person’s enthusiasm, Oliver must now find someone else with excess enthusiasm, ask for it, and give it to the person who is lacking.
As a Christian, I cannot help but notice a similarity of sorts between Christ and Oliver. They both work on souls!
Christ Vs. Oliver
- Son of God, restores/completes the soul when a person simply believes in him.
- Mere boy, completes souls upon request for quest rewards.
I have enjoyed Ni No Kuni so far but have to admit that the pacing is slow. The game reminds me of being at an idyllic summer camp by the lake. Not such a bad thing unless you hated summer camp as a kid.