The ancient Greeks taught a form of dualism; that is, they believed that there was a great distinction between our bodies and our souls.
In contrast, Scripture teaches that human beings are an integrated unit of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Whatever affects one part of the human frame affects all parts. The disciples taught that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health were interconnected and could not be separated.
How is this idea reflected in 1 Thessalonians 5:23?
For the New Testament believers, physical, mental and emotional well-being is indissolubly linked to spiritual well-being. The apostle Paul appealed to believers to “glorify God in their bodies.” He believed that all humanity was bought with a price and we are not our own (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Caring for our bodies by adopting a more healthful lifestyle does much more than add a few more years to our lives; done with the right motives, it can be an act of worship itself.
The Holy Spirit does not limit Himself to one aspect of our lives when He convicts us of our need for growth. Reformation is not one-dimensional. The Spirit longs to bring our lives into total conformity to the will of Christ in every area. If there are physical lifestyle practices not in harmony with His will, God invites us to surrender them for His glory. Satan wants to control our minds through our bodies; Jesus longs to control our bodies through our minds. Our bodies are a temple, not a funhouse. By following heaven’s principles we can live more joy-filled, productive, abundant, healthy lives.
What are the personal experiences that have shown you just how inseparable the link is between our physical and spiritual natures? What choices can you make to help to bring them into more beneficial harmony?