One of the first professions taught me as an early Christian is, “I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a physical body.” This mantra has lived in the recesses of my mind for over 30 years now, and I still struggle with taking full advantage of the trinitarian state of being given to me by God.
Like many others, I have a tendency to focus on either one aspect or another without fully integrating the whole. When concerned with things of the spirit, I may block out the desires of my flesh or put aside some other desire I may have. When focuses on developing my mental and emotional wellbeing I sometimes do not spend as much time learning something new concerning scriptural truths. When making time to get my physical body in shape, I forget the necessity of maintaining my spirit and mind along the way.
The idea of separating the natural from the spiritual realm has infiltrated our personal lives to the point of separating those things which should function as a whole into compartments. We consider our spiritual lives to be separate from the rest of ourselves. In failing to use the spiritual strengths to undergird and uphold the rest of our being we put ourselves at risk for mental and emotional fatigue, and eventually, our bodies bear the burden of our functioning outside of design.
Over the past several months I have been practicing an integrated life where I center myself around the spiritual truths I hold dear and allow that portion of my being to radiate out into the rest of my life. This changes my outlook on and responses to situations that I face, both negative and positive. I find that I am less stressed out taking this approach to life. I am spending less time worrying about what tomorrow brings and more time enjoying today’s gifts. I am beginning to have time to focus on my health to turn around many of the harmful byproducts of the unhealthy fragmented lifestyle I was living.
I now know that to truly be successful one must operate from a stance of unity within. Only by being whole (spirit – soul – body) can we function at full capacity. This way of living is what brings God glory in our lives as we show forth what it means to live the good life God desires for us.