Laurel Wreath is hosting "In Other Words for this week. She has chosen the following quote for each of us to ponder and paraphrase:
"The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love." a Henry Scougal quote (from The Life of God in the Soul of Man ), quoted by John Piper in The Pleasures of God.
There is a commercial currently running for something or other that utilizes a song that repeats "Who do ya love?" over and over. The marketing ploy mustn't be too good, for I can remember only the song - not the product. Since reading LW's quote, that song has been crashing about in my mind.
Who do I love? We all know the answers to that question. God, family friends. But what about self? ouch. Yeah, I may love her a bit too much. Maybe that's why I try to take things into my own hands. Why I sometimes leave things at the foot of the cross, only to sneak back later and snatch them away.
Another question springs to mind. What is the worth of a soul, anyway? The value is enormous. A soul is what sets us apart from all of creation. It's what makes us similar to God - made in His image. Just as he is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are body, mind and soul. Sinner-saved-by-grace or not, it is one thing we all share that is the same, that has the same potential.
Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. Some bodies are broken at birth. Deformaties and diseases create situations in which some are more challenged than others right from the get-go. Differences in color or ethnicity have resulted in conflicts as personal as school-yard bullying and as corporate as genocide. There are more suffering from eating disorders than ever, yet obesity is at epidemic levels. Because of the Garden Fall, sin has its way with our no-longer perfect bodies. We do not, nor will we have a "level playing field" when it comes to our physical bodies.
Like bodies, minds come in all different sizes. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all limited by our capabilities. Certainly, we can do all we can to maximize children's potential and retain what we older folks have. How many people do you know who Soduku in an effort to stay sharp? How many people buy Baby Einstein videos hoping to make Johnny a genius? Lots! And as little as we like to admit it with regard to our bodies, it really irks us that we are not all the same mentally. Sin has done its best to take away this third of our triune nature as well. Mental disabilities and injuries, as well as simple differences in genetic makeup and environmental stimuli insure that we won't have a "level playing field" there as well.
We are left with the final third of our triune nature. The soul. The breath of heaven within us all. The one portion of our beings that all begin the same. Sin has played its insidious role in this portion of our lives as well. Satan covets this third of our being most of all, as it is the only one that is eternal. This is the gold. After the fall in Eden and the resulting birth into a sin nature, Satan thought he had won. Each soul, fresh and new into the world has a sin nature - a soul tarnished like aged gold. Dormant until the oh-so-mysterious and oft-debated age of accountability, the time comes in each life when there is an awareness of the condition of our soul. Until that time, the playing field is level. We are all the same. We have the same potential for sin, or for glory through God's grace. It is the choices that we make, and the desire/love of our soul that further dulls or places our soul into the Refiner's fire. A soul that loves things of this world takes on the garish, carnival paint of superficiality while the soul that yearns for and loves the refiner will begin to shine brighter and brighter..adding to its worth and value.
Do we love the cheap, carnival artifice that sin has to offer? Or do we love the priceless purity of God?