The Spirit of Man
Man is made up of three parts: a body, a mind, and a spiritual nature – usually just called ‘the spirit’. We’ve already looked at the body and the mind. Now we’ll turn our attention to the spirit. But first, because the words soul, spirit, and spiritual nature are used in so many ways, we want to clarify their meaning in this Blog. *Bible texts are from The King James Version
Spiritual Nature or Spirit will describe our connection to the Creator-God. Or for some, it describes their connection to other supernatural beings, a religion, or a set of beliefs.
Soul will describe the body of a person or an animal. You and I are living souls. If your pet is alive, it is a living soul. But souls can die [Ezekiel 18:4].
Spirit is also used to describe the ‘breath of life’, or pneuma [has to do with breathing, air, or spirit]. With this breath in us we are alive or living souls. When this breath leaves the body, we die or become dead souls. A dead soul has no brain activity like thoughts, feelings, or memory. The spirit or breath of life comes from God [Isaiah 42:5]. When we die, it returns to God as breath [Ecclesiastes 12:7]. A body + the spirit or breath of life = a living soul [Genesis 2:7].
*Because various writers define these terms differently, the best way to get their meaning is to read as much of their context as possible. And for more information on immortal souls, spirits, and ghosts, check www.ghosttruth.com .
A spiritual nature makes man unique. It sets us on a higher plane of existence, since plants and animals don’t have one. Some call this spiritual nature a “God hole”; a space that only God can fill – if we let Him. It is also a ‘bridge’ between a person and the Creator-God. The body, mind and spirit are all different but work together in perfect unity. And it is through the delicate nerves of the mind [in the brain] that we have the only channel for communication with the Creator-God and heaven. ¹ A spiritual nature allows us to understand, be touched by, and be influenced by “God things”, holy things, and religious things.
We were designed to have a personal relationship with our Creator. The need is built-in and our brains are wired for it. But we were also created with the freedom of choice. We can choose or refuse this relationship. God is the purest form of love, and this true love gives. It never forces anyone to do anything.
Just imagine, the Creator of the universe wants a friendship with each of us; to walk and talk with us; and be a part of our everyday lives! But He respects our wishes and never pushes Himself on anyone. We have to invite Him into our hearts. And even if we don’t want Him in our lives, His concern for us never stops. He is a tender-hearted Father Who draws us to Him with His love, and is always watching and waiting if His children will come to Him [Jeremiah 31:3]. Should anyone want Him in their lives, He will ‘run’ to them with open arms.
Since the body is also home for the mind and spiritual nature, we need to be careful how we treat it. Because our lifestyle choices can affect the kind of spiritual nature we have. Here is how: The nerves of the mind are the only communication pathways between each person and heaven. So, sharp minds are needed to have a spirit that can pray; worship; understand and appreciate spiritual things; and clearly hear God speak. A sharp mind depends on a strong and healthy body. And a strong and healthy body depends on what we eat, drink and how we live. Whatever we do to the body we also do to the mind and spiritual nature.
A few things that weaken the spirit are: drugs; alcohol; caffeine; nicotine; not enough sleep or exercise; unhealthy diets; overeating; grudges; mean actions, sickness; negative entertainment – like profane, perverse, and violent reading, listening, and viewing material; and more.
Some things that strengthen the spirit: a healthy body and mind; reading The Bible – one way God speaks to us; praying – where we talk to God and listen for His voice; go to church for worship and fellowship; acts of kindness; spend time in nature – it tells us about God and His love for man; forgiving others; regular exercise; enough sleep; a healthy diet; no drugs and alcohol, and more.
Bottom Line: good health involves taking care of the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. Each of these parts has a tremendous influence on the others. And it is only when all 3 of them are strong and energized and able to do their jobs well, that a person truly has good health.
¹ Mind, Character, and Personality: guidelines to mental and spiritual health. EG White. (Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1977). Volume 1, page 73.
Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence