The part of ourselves that controls our reactions to life has a huge impact on us.
According to 1 Thess. 5:23, we have a spirit, a soul and a body. Our body is physical and receives stimuli through our senses. Our soul is generally thought to consist of our mind, will and emotions. Our spirit is that part of us that is made alive when we become followers of Jesus. We can choose which part of us we live from.
Some people choose to live from their body. They are dominated by their appetites—for food, sex, bodily comfort, etc. Others choose to live from their soul. Their emotions dominate their lives, or sometimes their intellect. (I don’t feel like praying. It’s not logical; therefore I don’t believe it.)
We are supposed to live from our spirit. How can we tell if something comes from our spirit? It will be scriptural, and it will be accompanied by the fruit of peace. The vehicle it comes through is our soul—frequently our thoughts.
A (heartfelt) example: You’ve been on an international trip and you’re suffering from jet lag. Yet you have a busy day ahead. You can decide you need a nap and tune out for a period of the day leaving others to carry your workload (living from the body). You can allow yourself to become crotchety and make sure everyone around you knows you’re suffering from a sleep deficit (living from the soul). Or you can choose to be thankful and trust God to help you through your day (living from the spirit).
As you willingly choose to live according to Scripture, even if you don’t feel like it, you will find your attitude changing. To live from the spirit brings life and peace (Rom. 8:5-11)
Adapted from Felicity Dale’s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is the author of numerous books including The Black Swan Effect and Simply Church. She is an an advocate for women in the church and trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.