‘Soul Care’ – Not About ‘Control’—All About ‘Stewardship’
John Ortberg wrote about a concept I believed intellectually prior to reading Soul Keeping. I don’t think, though, I was totally convinced of it emotionally and spiritually until I began pursuing seriously the matter of my own ‘soul care.’ Ortberg explains one of the important aspects of Christ-centered ‘soul care’ is the realization I am not the “captain of my soul” as the 19th Century poet William Ernest Henly declared in his famous, influential poem, Invictus.
No, God is my soul’s captain, but God has entrusted me with the tremendous responsibility of being the ‘keeper’ of my soul. I am my soul’s manager—its first mate—tasked by God with its stewardship.
This realization is tremendously empowering. Imagine, the God of the Universe says, “You go, girl!” Okay, perhaps God doesn’t use that exact verbiage, but I am able to imagine the Captain of my Soul—composed of the trinitarian Father, Son and Spirit— saying:
- You don’t need to be afraid about making “the absolutely right” decision or doing a task in “the absolutely right” way. Remember, it’s not you, but I—the “absolutely right God”—who has ultimate control.
- You don’t need to remain a victim of your past, your:
- youthful perceptions,
- family of origin,
- less-than-best decisions,
- deeply engrained patterns of behavior.
- While you do not determine your days–those are in God’s hands—your stewardship of those days is critical. You have been given authorization to:
- take care of the wellbeing and appearance of your physical body,
- manage ‘soul’ draining stress,
- allow the renewal of your mind from ‘stinkin’ thinking’ that has held you captive,
- use generously every gift and ability and resource I’ve given in the best way possible.
- You do not need to allow the manipulation, moods or choices of those close to you govern your moods and decisions. You have authority to set healthy limitations. It’s all right to say quietly and decisively, “yes” to what’s best; “no” to what doesn’t work for you; and “not right now” when in doubt.
- You can forgive those who have offended, misunderstood, mistreated or ignored you. I understand cruelty and unfairness. I will judge in the perfect way, according to perfect understanding at the perfect time.
- You can trust me even when you don’t ‘get it.’ I’m for you. When you mess up, my discipline will be done according to your God-design and will lead you into gentle ‘ah-ha’s.’ The fruit of My Spirit, such as self-control, will begin to develop from the inside out.
- Don’t be afraid. Even when the road ahead seems dark and uncertain, I’ll always be with you. I know what lies ahead. I’ve prepared the path.
- Never forget, the Captain of your soul is kind and trustworthy, who’s always with you, and I will also send friends in the flesh to help guide and support your journey, a journey I know requires a whole lot of faith.
Friend reading this post, I hope as I’ve shared my insight with you concerning my ‘soul care,’ it’s helped you gain clearer understanding of YOUR ‘soul’ care and encourages you to consider more fully that you are the steward rather than the captain of your soul.
I’m joining with you in prayer…
While walking with our friends, Dave and Norma, at Kathryn Albertson Park in Boise, Idaho, we came upon a mom photographing these two lovely young girls. We stopped and made a couple suggestions regarding poses. They agreed graciously when I asked if Ron could take this photo. This picture reminds me of God’s faithfulness to send friends in the flesh to help guide and support our ‘soul’ journeys—journeys filled with a bunch of unknowns that undeniably require a whole lot of faith.