As I get older, it continues to be a huge value for me to experience ongoing transformation into Christlikeness though the power of the Holy Spirit. I have returned numerous times to the truth in Romans 12:2a, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (ESV) From this verse, I connect continued transformation to what is going on in my mind…how I am thinking about things.
It is, therefore, no surprise that Paul says in Philippians 4:8 (ESV): “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Underlining is mine)
For quite a few years, it has been my practice to (monthly) memorize a verse or short passage selected from what I have been reading in my Bible. As I learn the verse, meditate on it and seek His help in applying it to my life, I experience change in my thinking and, consequently, in my actions.
A verse that I memorized some years ago and continue to review is 3 John 2 in the ESV:
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Here is some of the “thinking” that has been happening in my old brain as I daily pray and meditate on this verse. Come on in and sit with me for a few moments…think along with me as I share how God is making some things clearer to me and raising some questions for me.
It seems to me that having things go well with me is not the same as having things go well for me. Circumstances might not be going well for me (what is happening to me) but it can go well with me (what is happening in me), depending on my attitude.
Regardless of what life throws my way, I have a choice in how I, by His grace, respond. Sometimes the thing causing the most damage is not happening outside of me, but inside of me.
As I have been thinking about “health,” I think not merely of physical health, but emotional, mental, spiritual and relational health. I want to be holistically healthy. Poor health in any of these areas can have a significant impact on my total well-being. For example, there are what doctors call emotionally-induced illnesses, meaning there are actual physical issues which have their root cause in our emotions.
Proverbs 14:30 (ESV), references this:
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”
The fact is I can, in essence, be physically fine but still be sick. Different kinds of health are clearly interrelated. Could John be making this connection when he says at the end of the verse “…that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
What do you think?
Here is the question I am asking myself: If it is going well with my soul, does that impact my overall health? Another way to put it would be, does poor soul health generate other kinds of poor health…emotional, physical, relational? Let me take it even a step further. Does the health of my relationship with Jesus (soul health) have an impact on every other part of my total health picture? Now, that’s worth thinking about! Admittedly, I have not done a deep Bible study on this. What I am sharing here are some of my preliminary thoughts as I am praying and meditating on this verse…perhaps, at this point, having more questions than conclusions.
Please weigh in and add to the conversation on this blog.
In closing, isn’t this a great verse to pray for people?
- That things may go well with them (even if not for them)
- That they may be in good health (all areas of health)
- That things may go well with their soul (having a strong faith-walk with Jesus)