“May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God ….” 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT)
What concerns me about our view of God’s love is that it’s inconsistent. We say one thing and yet often live contradictorally. What I’ve learned at church is that God cares a lot about my soul, and that He even cares about my mind (what I allow to enter into my mind, what my thoughts dwell upon, etc.). But what about my body? I’ve heard next-to-nothing about how God views my body. So what should I do with that? Since I am a creature who is unquestionably part body (and mind and soul) … but I don’t know hear much about God caring about my body … then can I be certain that God cares about all of me? On some very deep level, I fear that it leaves us wondering about the magnitude of God’s love. Is God fickle? Does He love just certain parts of us? Is His love conditional or partial? Of course, our minds know that the Bible teaches differently. Our minds know that the Bible teaches of God’s overwhelming, unconditional, engulfing and endless love for us; yet our practical theology, for the most part, is as if God is completely unconcerned with our bodies and how we interact with them.
I don’t believe that’s true. I believe our theology is incomplete in that respect. I believe the Bible teaches that God loves every one of us and every aspect of every one of us. He is working to make all things new. I believe God’s love engulfs every part of us (body, mind and soul) — that He is the Love that sees and embraces every aspect of ourselves.
He calls us to be better, yes … because He loves us. He calls for our hearts and souls to be purer and more devoted to Him, for our minds to be more disciplined and focused on His purposes, and for our body to be more dedicated to Him as His temple. Yes, the soul is of God’s highest concern because our souls are the part of us that lives forever. But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t care about our minds or bodies. He gave them both to us, and He wants us to cherish and nourish and grow and strengthen and use all of us for His glory.
So let’s give all of us … all to Him.