Reading Gaius’s Mail: Soul Talk

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 2)

The apostle John, “the elder,” launches into his little letter to his good friend Gaius by describing how he prays for him. It’s a practical prayer: for Gaius’s health and for “everything else” in Gauius’s life to do as well as his soul was doing.

reading_350Notice that John makes a distinction between good health, good circumstances, and the life of the soul. That tells me those things don’t always go together. My soul can do well even when I’m physically sick or when things are going badly in my life. And, of course, my soul – though spiritually alive in Christ – can feel “down” even when my life seems to be going just fine.

Remember those psalms where the writer would talk to his own soul? “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” The poet was suffering through a dark moment. But he told his soul he would not stop praising God or remembering God’s goodness, love, and power. He told his soul the truth.

How do you talk to your soul?

Think: Have you ever compared the attitude of your soul to your physical health or other circumstances? Have you ever told your soul to cheer up because God is good? Have you ever felt really spiritually positive and alive even though your physical circumstances weren’t so good?

Pray: For yourself and one good friend, pray today’s verse. Ask God for the enjoyment of good physical health, for good everyday circumstances, and especially for your souls to do well.

Do: Read Psalm 42 and notice how the writer talks about and to his soul (especially in verse 5).