The MOST important thing about you is the health of your soul.
If you body is well but your soul is sick, you may likely feel that life is hopeless, even when it isn’t. However, if your body is sick but your soul is well, you can press on in hope. That’s the difference a healthy soul makes.
Review: Habits 1-4 of Healthy Souls
1. Respect yourself and do respectful things.
When you do respectful things you’ll respect yourself a lot more.
2. Practice reflective appreciation.
When you make a habit of ending your day by asking yourself reflective questions, you are holding on to hope. “Where there is no faith in the future there is no power in the present.”
3. Have faith in yourself and do faith-filled things.
People aren’t really motivated by goals; they’re motivated by character transformation.
Character change happens because of risks you take in faith.
4. Identify what generates the most hope in your life.
Your soul needs HOPE more than anything else to be healthy.
Whatever the source of hope is for you, make it a part of your daily life.
Read more here about the first 4 Healthy Habits.
5. Understand that your habits determine your destiny.
The “Ironman Group” I belong to found great insights in Charles Duhigg’s book, ‘The Power of Habits.”
Duhigg points out that some habits seem to be much more significant than others. He calls these “keystone” habits. When a significant habit starts to change, it sets off a chain reaction that changes other patterns as well, almost subconsciously.
One of the best examples of a keystone habit is exercise.
When people start habitually exercising, they’re more likely to eat more healthfully. And that makes sense, because you start to feel good about your body, so it’s easier to go eat a salad than it is to eat a hamburger.
But what’s really interesting, when people start exercising, they’re also more likely to use their credit card less and to start to procrastinate less at work and start to do their dishes something like 23 minutes earlier in the day.
What are your keystone habits? Are they are healthy?
Two of mine are:
i. Preparing for and participating in my small group on Wednesday mornings.
ii. Running. When I run I feel better, think better and eat better.
6. Keep short accounts.
In George Carlin’s words, “A house is where we put our stuff while we go out and get more stuff.”
Your soul can function as a repository of stuff – stuff like offenses, irritations, disappointments, grudges, misunderstandings, and unforgiveness.
I first heard the term “keep short accounts” 30 years ago. For me its meant to settle settle relational issues quickly rather than let them fester or “get stuck to your soul.”
I’ve found my soul can act like velcro when it comes to hurts. I’ve got to peel them off sooner than later.
In the accounting world, if a person spends a little time each week working on reconciling the books, it’s an easy, simple task. However if they wait two months to do so, it becomes a birds nest of a mess.
It’s the same in relationships.
The Scriptural advice of “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26) warns against procrastination when it comes to relational pain.
Short accounts will keep your soul light, free of stuff that is stuck to it.
7. Celebrate your achievements but value your identity.
Your soul becomes vulnerable to losing its worth when you value yourself BY your achievements.
Realizing your value in your Creator’s eyes makes you more resistant to the crippling effects of self-doubt.
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
8. Take the long view.
Who can pretend to know enough to be a pessimist? Really.
Taking the long view helps your soul live in preparation for what is permanent.
To put decisions and disappointments in their proper perspective ask yourself, “Will it matter in a 100 years?” (Even 20 for that matter.)
Here’s to your healthier soul!
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment below.
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