A note from Kelly King: In today’s article, Kaye Hurta asks the question, “How do you care for your soul?” It’s a good question all of us must ask as we seek to grow in our relationship with the Lord. I’m asking myself some of these questions today and plan to incorporate some of Kaye’s idea in my own life. I hope you’ll join me.
Our church body is currently engaged in a 21-day prayer and fasting experience. Halfway through I confess it has been both wonderful and painful. The wonderful part has been an increased awareness of how the Lord is speaking to me along with the joy of engaging corporately. The painful part has been the denying of some things I love with the awareness that I love them too much and the addition of practices that care for my whole self—body, soul, and spirit.
Before the experience began, if you would have asked me my level of intent in caring for my own soul I would have answered with a pretty high score. However, after several days of eliminating certain distractions (even good ones) from my routine, I realize how neglectful I have been in caring for my whole self—my soul self. Exercise routines and spiritual formation plans are pretty easy to come by, but how do you care for your soul?
When we care for our souls in the truest spiritual sense, it produces fruit in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us what that fruit is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” Take a moment and ask yourself, “Are these qualities present and growing in me today?” If the answer is yes, fantastic!
When we do not care for our souls, there is fruit produced in us as well. Examples of the fruit of a neglected soul include, anger, impatience, irritability, critical thoughts, pride, addictions, depression, and more. Take a moment and ask yourself, “Are these qualities present and growing in me today?” If the answer is yes, then you have not been caring for your whole self.
You may be exercising every day and checking the boxes on your Bible reading plan, but your soul is experiencing neglect. The presence of these qualities of soul neglect in your life are probably causing you hurt and pain. Perhaps your life feels disordered and your most important relationships are fractured. My experience is that soul neglect is an increasing cause of distress, especially for busy Christian women.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a three-step plan of attack to cure the effects of soul care? If only.
Caring for our whole selves, especially our souls, requires both intention and time. The practices we engage in for soul care produce fruit over time. Setting aside one weekend a year to care for your soul isn’t going to do it; it will require monthly, weekly, and daily intentions. So what can you do?
Here are some suggestions on how to care for your soul self:
- Set aside 30 minutes per day to rest in solitude (start with 5). By solitude I mean no phone nearby, no smart watch on your wrist alerting you of what you are missing, and no podcasts running; you get the idea. Quiet your mind, your will, your emotions, and drink in the silence and stillness of His Presence.
- Set your mind on things above. Dedicate time each day (10 minutes) for your mind to concentrate on spiritual things.
- Prayer walk every day (or every other day). Go for a walk and talk to God. Don’t set your exercise app and don’t take your phone; just walk and talk and listen.
- Play. Do something each week that brings delight and joy to your life!
There are more, but this will get you started! Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what to do and how to do it. I am praying for you, that in the new year your lives will be marked by an increased awareness of His Presence and that you will intentionally take care of your whole self!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.