Last week, we looked at getting honest emotionally. For many of us, telling people we’re not OK is a sign of weakness. But, getting honest is actually a sign of health. We were never meant to do life alone. We looked at getting honest about our insecurities and our pain. If we truly want to win the battle in our minds, it starts with getting honest with God and others.
Today, I want to talk about our soul and one of its most powerful influences. What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances; not your intentions; not even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is the aspect of your life that correlates and integrates everything going on in the various dimensions of you. Your soul is your life center.
If your soul is healthy, no external circumstance can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstance can redeem your life. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NKJV)
To lose my soul means I no longer have a healthy center that organizes and guides my life. I am a car without a steering wheel — a crash waiting to happen. Gaining the whole outside world doesn’t help you if your inside world collapses. So the question is how can I keep my soul healthy? The key to the health of my soul is my story.
We are great storytellers! Who doesn’t love a great story! We absolutely love to go to the movies. We get engrossed in the plot and the music. The story affects us.
Likewise, our personal story affects our lives. Many of us, in our mental illness and life situations, get lost in our story. Because of our pain, our insecurities, our sin, we become storytellers. We’re the hero in our own novel, and the world is the antagonist. Everyone else is the problem.
You need to know that many times your story fractures your soul. We tell ourselves, “No one understands. I’m not good enough. It’s their fault. There’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” Many of us can’t move forward in life because of the story we are telling ourselves. It’s affecting our emotions, body, and soul.
I want to challenge you today to tell a different story. Challenge your narrative. I love what King David wrote in Psalm 42:11: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Also, let other people fact check your story. We have to open up our lives for people to speak into it. Many times, we just don’t want to hear it. When you are struggling and warring on the inside, you can’t trust you. You can’t trust your story. That’s why you need other people. Proverbs 12:15 tells us, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
Next, input God’s Word into your narrative. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Nothing is more powerful in changing your narrative than God’s Word. You have to start telling the new story. “I do have a choice. I can let go of this pain. I don’t have to act this way anymore.”
It’s time to get out of our heads. It’s time to change our story.
Matt Bunn is the pastor of the Heights Church, Bolivar.