A CHECKUP FOR THE SOUL
What happened? This man and this woman had neglected to check up on their souls.
A checkup of the soul need not take longer than a checkup of one’s personal appearance. Regular checkups will serve you well if you correct what needs attention, but often we will go for weeks or months or even years, without checking up on our hearts. Why?
Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:19, NKJV
The following is a brief checkup. It will only take a few minutes:
Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
Hebrews 12:14-15, NKJV
The soul is reflected in a special kind of mirror called the Bible. It says:
If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:23-25, NKJV
Is it a challenge to resolve any conflicts between you and someone else? Perhaps even the person on the other side of the bathroom wall in the morning? Does the conflict disturb you? Are you “gracious” about it? Look carefully. If you glanced in a mirror and saw a pimple you would surely look more carefully. A pimple! You don’t ignore a pimple! This is an emergency! You would move quickly to get rid of it.
We get the word gracious from the word grace, which generally means “loving acceptance.” Look carefully lest you fall short of the grace of God. Are you aware of an ungracious spirit toward a family member, a co-worker, or anyone? You still act graciously, sound gracious, but deep down inside you are not gracious. Beware. This is more serious than a pimple.
Is there a root of bitterness lurking in your heart toward the person with whom you are in open or hidden conflict? Are you making an effort to be reconciled?
I see many married couples who were at one time delighting in each other’s presence, filled with admiration and appreciation for each other. Because one or both neglected their souls, they are now estranged. They have forgotten the sweet fellowship of the past, and goodwill toward each another has left their hearts.
Take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.
Deuteronomy 4:9, NKJV
Take another quick look at the mirror that reflects your soul:
Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another.
Colossians 3:8-9, NKJV
Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another . . . even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:12-13, NKJV
The Bible is a mirror that will let you know what to put off or put on. You may or may not want to know. You may or may not want to act on your reflection. You may even act as if you have put off what needs putting off and put on what needs putting on when that really is not the situation under your skin.
Once I stayed in a lovely apartment with a bathroom that had mirrors on all the walls. At first I was pleased, but very quickly I was stunned. I saw views of my body that I had never seen before, and I didn’t like what I saw.