So, what is in the box that makes you you?
Human kind has been philosophizing on this topic from dim ages past. Are we simply animal machines of a slightly higher order, with not much more value than a lemming? There are people who believe this, which helps to explain their attitude about everything from abortion, to infanticide to euthanasia. With no moral code, with man having no value greater than a mouse, it makes no difference whether we keep or throw away our offspring. Or Grandma. There is in their mind, therefore, nothing to declare right vs. wrong… except of course if you should rape or threaten their children. Suddenly they are finding they do believe some things are inherently right, with other things totally wrong. However, their commitment to the idea that there is no moral code outside of themselves, and that we are evolved animals only, is so strong that they develop split brain thinking when faced with harm that touches them. This becomes necessary when you believe two opposing views; unless the beliefs are compartmentalized, the brain cannot process or hold both at the same time.
Many people believe that man is made up of body and soul. The soul is a rather vague concept of the life force which departs at death as the body returns to the earth. There is a general belief that there is a God somewhere, that he started the whole thing, and if we behave right and do good our soul will find eternal bliss somewhere when we die. If anyone brings up the word ‘spirit’ it is assumed to be a synonym for soul.
There is general agreement that there is a standard, or absolute, outside of ourselves which declares that some things are good, and to be pursued, and other things are bad or off limits. Some care enough about eternal bliss to try to behave themselves; others find the effort too great and decide early on the whole thing is a farce, or that they are doomed anyway, so let’s eat, drink and be merry. Devil take the hindmost. Regardless of their response to life, most in this group truly know there is a standard which they fail to meet on a regular basis. There is often much striving to appease the somewhere God to earn points which will admit them to the eternal beyond. Their prayers are directed to the God Out There, hoping that somehow they will be heard and helped.
A third group is of people who have seen and believed the words of the Bible in 1 Thessalonians “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What? There’s a difference between the spirit and the soul? The Bible declares it to be so, in fact using different words in the Greek and Hebrew for each. They are not interchangeable words for the same reality, but describe distinctly different parts of our being.
On the basis of Biblical truth I understand that in each of our packaging there is a spirit and a soul as well as our body. Each has an important part to play in developing who we are and who we are destined to become. Someone has well said: “We are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body.” Since each is important, it behooves us to unpack the topic more fully. Our (successful) lives depend on it.