Hi everyone. “How do you know?” It begs the question! Know what? How do you know that some things are getting better or worse? It depends on what it is.
In the context of a medical diagnosis, there are years of study in medical school, application of that knowledge as an intern, a resident and finally a licensed physician. In the practice of medicine, experiences are gained, which allow one to answer the above question in a more complete way.
For example, how will a person know if a diagnosis of diabetes is better? There are many variables that can influence the average blood sugar such as: diet, exercise, stress reduction and others. Besides how they may feel subjectively, there is a common blood test called hemoglobin A1C (Hgb A1C), which is a biomarker or measure of how well controlled, or not, the diabetes is. By measuring Hgb A1C levels, it’s a sign (an objective) measurement that guides the doctor and the patient to make the adjustment to lower the Hgb A1C, if elevated, which reflects the average blood sugar.
Jesus, through the Apostle John says,
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers”.3 John 1:2
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, said this,
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged–consecrated to Him–set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.1 Thessalonians 5:23 AMP
We all have a body in various degrees of health: from top athletes in pristine condition, to those with a terminal disease, such as stage four cancer or some other condition. Age, socioeconomic conditions, education, demographics, culture, and a whole range of other factors influence health – not to mention mental health. Yet, the Apostle Paul speaks of “spirit, soul and body” being complete or whole.
How do I know if the soul is getting better? What is the diagnosis of the soul? What’s wrong with it? The soul is really your personality; it’s what animates the body. It’s one’s feelings, experiences (good and bad), culture, passions, drives, values, beliefs, attitudes etc.; it’s one’s worldview. All those abstract thoughts require a mind that allows one to perceive, which is to process one’s experiences – the influencers or teachers of the soul.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote to the Thessalonians about “spirit soul and body”, also wrote to the Philippians about having the mind of Christ. It reads,
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”.Philippians 2:5
How does this work? First, there must be a diagnosis to acknowledge that one’s soul is ill. Paul says,
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.Romans 3:23
The word sin in the Greek means:
“to miss a mark on the way, not to hit the mark. One who keeps missing the mark in his relationship to God is hamartōlós, sinner”. (1)Word Study Bible Dictionary
So, based on the above definition, a deeper understanding of the word “sinned” is really speaking about a broken relationship that needs to be restored between our soul and God; it’s not about do’s and don’ts. The misunderstanding is the cause of the sickness in the soul.
So how does it get healed? There is a process, the medicine, so to speak, that the Apostle James tells us about. It’s understanding God’s thinking compared to our thinking and choosing to follow His thinking.
Jas 1:21 So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].
Jas 1:23 For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror;
Jas 1:24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like.
Jas 1:25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].James 1:21-25 (AMP)
The Greek word “save” is sozo and one of the definitions is:
“to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e., one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue”. (2)Thayer Bible Dictionary
How do you know that the soul is getting better or sozo is happening? There should be changes in attitudes such as anger, frustration, poor self-esteem, addictions, physical healings and more. These are just a few of the testimonials that are happening at The Voice of Healing. It is “the implanted Word”, which is Christ, who will change our thinking to His thinking.
Clement of Alexandria (c.155-220), second-generation Early Church Fathers, said this,
“So the soul is the first and most important aspect of our living. The virtue that springs up in the soul is what saves. And corruption of the soul kills. So, let’s stop looking for the cause of life and death anywhere else other than in the soul’s purity and obedience to God. Or, in the soul’s breaking of the commandments and its accumulation of wicked behavior”. (3)Clement of Alexandria, Intimacy with God, Chapter 20 Cleansing the Soul, p.113
That’s how you know!
Until next time, I’m Dr Roni.
- Word Study Bible dictionary
- Thayer Bible dictionary
- Clement of Alexandria, Intimacy with God, Chapter 20 Cleansing the Soul, p. 113
- Scripture References: New King James Version and Amplified Version (AMP)