Soul Keeping: Caring for the most important part of you
This is the title of a recent book by John Ortberg. I found it really helpful and would recommend it.
It seems we don't speak much about 'soul' these days - we are much more likely to talk about 'self'. I think we need to redress the balance.
Here are some quotes:
Your soul .... 'is the deepest part of you and it is the whole person'
'Your soul is what integrates your will (your intentions), your mind (your thoughts and feelings, your values and conscience), and your body (your face, body language and actions) into a single life. A soul is healthy - well ordered - when there is harmony between these three entities and God's intent for all creation. When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul.
Our world has replaced the word soul with the word self, and they are not the same thing. The more we focus on our selves, the more we neglect our souls.
But psychology has focused on the self, and self carries a totally different connotation than the soul. To focus on my soul means to look at my life under the care and connection of God. To focus on myself apart from God means losing awareness of what matters most.
Self is a stand alone, do-it-yourself unit, while the soul reminds us we were not made for ourselves. The soul always exists before God. So soul is needed for deep art, poetry and music. Former opera singer Scott Flaherty said it best: 'I mean, when you sing you're giving voice to your soul.' Imagine singing 'Then sings my self, my Savior God to Thee', or 'Jesus lover of my self'. Innately we know that the self is not the soul, even as we do everything we can to preserve it.