Soul Health

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

3 John 1:2

We get a more literal translation from the New American Standard Bible which says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” This is John’s prayer for his good friend Gaius.

The Bible is not advocating the prosperity gospel here, nor am I. The prosperity gospel falsely declares that if you live in faith all will go well with your life. This is a shallow and deceptive teaching that needs to be eradicated from the Church. But too often, in our attempts to hunt down the heresy of the prosperity gospel, we throw out the good with the bad.

It is clear from this passage of scripture that God wants us praying for good health, financial provision, and emotional health (“soul prosperity”). These are things we should be praying for in our own lives and in the lives of others. These are things God wants for us, as any good father would for his children, he just doesn’t want these things to replace Him as the primary focus of our lives. “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all things things will be given to you as well“(Matthew 6:33).

I find it interesting that emotional health here is tied so strongly to financial health and physical health. This passage seems to reveal one of the truths of the Kingdom of God; if our soul is healthy (our emotional health) then there is a better chance the rest of our life will be healthy. People who earn lots of money but don’t have emotional health end up being selfish and reckless with their finances. People who allow stress, worry, anger and fear to rule their hearts and minds will often find physical ailments that follow.

So much of a healthy life flows from a healthy heart and mind.

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