Restoring the image
For reading & meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
"May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (v.23)
We continue meditating on the importance of looking at life "steadily and whole". I venture to suggest that people who are not Christians
are unable to see life as a whole. How can they, when their thinking takes place only on the level of the natural? Natural thinking is notoriously partial and incomplete. Take, for example, the field of medicine. A generation ago doctors treated the symptoms that people presented to them, but now, with a clearer understanding of how the mind affects physical health, they have come to see that this approach was partial. One doctor said: "At long last the medical profession has discovered that the patient himself is important." Medicine is fast moving towards what is described as a "holistic" approach as more and more doctors begin to realise that it is not enough to treat the problem, we must also treat the person. They are still far from seeing that there is also a spiritual element in the person that has to be considered, but perhaps in time that will come. Christian counselling suffers from the same problem - it does not see the whole picture. I am tired of reading books on Christian counselling that give just one side of the issue and suggest that problems can be resolved by applying one special technique. Man was created as a whole person and he will never be helped back to wholeness unless every part of his being is treated - spirit, soul and body. God wants to restore His image in us: not in part of us but in the whole.
O Father, forgive us that so often we settle for the half view of things rather than the whole. Quicken my spiritual understanding so that I have Your view on all things - the "whole" view. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For further study:
1. What is man primarily?
2. What was Paul's testimony?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Seeing Life Whole - Every Day Light 3/1