Discovering Soul-Healing Essentials

Judah started texting his friends, How are you? He was surprised when they responded, What do you mean? He says if someone close to us asks that question, it probably means we are not okay.  “The fact that the person has to ask if you are okay means you are probably not okay,” says Judah.  He says this question is scary because it has to do with what’s inside of us, not with achievements or activities, but with our emotions, thoughts, decisions, values and desires.  “This is a scary subject because how can I speak and teach on a subject when my own soul is bent and flawed?” says Judah.

1 John 3:2 refers to the soul, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”  Judah reminds us that God wants our souls to be well.  “This verse seems to imply that until our souls are healthy and prospering, nothing else can prosper,” says Judah.  “Our health and wellness don’t move from the outside in, but from the inside out.”  

In our fast-paced world, there is pain and chaos all around us and we struggle to stay at peace.  “It’s easy to make life all about the outside me.  We fall into the trap that if we can be healthy, wealthy, popular, productive and influential, then life will be good,” says Judah.  He reminds us that when God designed life, He had far more in mind for us than simply surviving.  Judah says the Bible mentions the word soul hundreds of times which is an indicator of how important this subject is to God.  In his studies, Judah says he has found four elements of a healthy soul environment:

  1. Rest.  Rest is first because God is first.  A restless soul is a soul that thinks it is in control and needs to take care of everything.  If we do not rest, we are trying to be our own god.
  2. Responsibility.  We are designed to do what we are tasked to do with everything that is in us.  Judah says this is called work.  Responsibility is good for the soul because it is more of an act of service than a sacrifice.  
  3. Restraint.  God designed restrictions and limitations as a blessing for our soul.  There is freedom within limits.  “That is where the soul is at its best,” says Judah.
  4. Relationship.  We are by nature relational beings.  We were meant for community.  Be careful and intentional.  God will provide relationships that fit and friends who will help you navigate the ups and downs of life.

Judah says our soul can affect us strongly and reminds us that we must keep our thought from getting blown out of proportion.  “If you want to have a calm, quiet soul, you have to recognize that you are not in control,” he says.  This is opposite of what we tend to do.  When we lack rest and peace due to uncertainties of life, many times we think we need to be more in control of our fate.  “We can’t guarantee anything,” says Judah.  “But God can.”  

Judah shares a story when he was growing up.  It was his responsibility to take out the garbage which he would do in the dark.  He would start out confident.  Then while he was lining up the garbage cans, Judah would survey the darkness and start to wonder what was out there.  Every single time, Judah’s thoughts would run rampant and he would scare himself.  Judah says his walk with God is much like taking out the trash.  “There are days when I walk with confident ease,” he says.  “But without notice, something changes in the circumstances, or my mind creates a scenario and I go from walking to feverishly running.” One of the biggest issues our souls have to deal with is not the presence of negative circumstances, but the way those circumstances mess up our walk.

Our souls need purpose and significance.  That’s what makes us subconsciously grasp at careers and titles.  “A truly effective life begins with an effective soul,” says Judah.  “It flows from a soul that functions and finds its value not in external accomplishments but in its relationship with God.”

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


New York Times Best-selling Author, his latest: How’s Your Soul?

Nelson 2016

Lead Pastor, City Church, Seattle, WA

Wife: Chelsea

3 Children



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