I grew up on football, basketball, video games, books, comics, music (mainly hip hop, R&B, and metal. Weird, right?), stand up comedy, and movies.
I also grew up going to church.
I thought the two were at odds with each other. There was the part of me that was a Jesus follower and the Adam that enjoyed those things listed above.
As a teen there was definitely a line drawn between secular and Christian so I kept them separate.
There was the good stuff and then there was “Christian” stuff…which usually wasn’t very good.
But both Jesus and the other things felt like a part of my soul.
It was a difficult tension to live with.
The soul is hard to describe. You can’t point to it like the heart. Same with mind and strength. But soul?
In short, I would describe our souls this way:
Our soul is who we are: our passions, desires and personality as given by God.
It was around the time that I was putting together a study on the Shema that I began to notice the lens I spoke about (Jesus is a lens for life) and it was leading me to see that we can engage with our passions, desires and personality (our soul) from a Christlike perspective.
The two sets of passions aren’t separate. I didn’t need a Christian version of the things I liked, I just needed a new perspective on them.
I’m still into the same stuff because God has wired my soul to be moved by them.
The difference is when I look at the Shema I now see all of those things as opportunities to connect to my Savior and point others towards him.
Here are a couple of personal examples how I love God with my soul:
Sports – Instead of just passively watching I now get involved through volunteering my time and building relationships with players and parents where my kids play. In fact, a few years back I was given the nickname “the mayor” at city league football because I had relationships with everyone.
It has also been a great opportunity to use what influence I can to encourage and be a part of making sure that no child gets left out of sports for any reason.
Video games, music, movies, books, etc – It was my love for these things that spawned this blog. I wanted to show people that when we engage entertainment we don’t disengage our brains. We can interact with all those things for the purpose of knowing God better. For more on that, check out this video and this book.
How do you love God with all your soul daily?
What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy? What excites you? You can use those things to connect with Christ and share him.
Those things are in your soul and part of who you were designed to be. God is calling you to love him with all your soul.