How Can You Have a Healthy Soul?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

As Paul closes the book of 1 Thessalonians, he ends with practical and healthy habits for this godly church to have a strong soul, similar to the prescriptions a medical doctor would give you to have a healthy body. Here is a summary:

  1. Respect godly leaders who lead and feed you in love.
  2. Live at peace together and don’t tolerate ongoing conflict, strife, division, or factions. 
  3. Admonish the idle to take responsibility and get activated owning their own life. 
  4. Encourage the fainthearted who are in a tough season and walk alongside them. 
  5. Help the weak so that those who are immature, addicted, discouraged, or broken are not abandoned but rather loved by God’s church family.
  6. Be patient with everyone because we all have our faults flaws and failures and are a work in progress. 
  7. Don’t allow bitterness and vengeance to cause you to respond to evil with evil, be like Jesus and respond to evil with good and let Jesus deal with the evildoers. 
  8. Rejoice always because no matter how bad it is, God is present and there is grace and blessing if you look hard enough.
  9. Pray without ceasing so that talking to God is a natural part of everyday life as you grow that relationship with your Father as His child. 
  10. Give thanks for what you are learning and who you are becoming even when the days are dark, and the grief is deep, because God is not punishing you but rather preparing you for the next season of life. 
  11. Do not quench the Holy Spirit with your traditions, legalisms, bad theology, fear, control issues, unrepentance, or unbelief but rather set your sail for His wind to take you wherever He wants you to go.
  12. Do not despise prophetic words from godly people who are filled with the Spirit and helping you learn God’s Word and find God’s will.
  13. Do not be gullible or naïve believing everything, but instead test everything by the Word of God, people of God, and Spirit of God so you can toss what is bad and keep what is good.
  14. Abstain from every form of evil, including your private sins, secret sins, and things you tend to tolerate or make excuses for that you know are wrong. 
  15. Pray for your pastors and church leaders who are doing all they can to lead and feed you in love. 
  16. Treat one another with love like a family. 
  17. Have the Bible be the center of your church meetings to hear a Word from God by learning the Word of God. 

This is quite a list! If we do what Paul says, we will become healthier, stronger, more joyful, unified, helpful, and better people in every area of our life. Everyone around us will benefit from who we are becoming, and we will enjoy our life even on the worst days. 

Which things on the list would you say the Holy Spirit has grown you in? What things on the list do you need to invite the Holy Spirit to help you grow in?

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