Through the years I’ve heard several Christian leaders make reference to the expansion of one’s soul. The word “soul” is used to define two different things, depending on whether the teacher is a Dichotomist or Trichotomist.
- The Dichotomist typically uses the word “soul” to speak of that eternal part of us, the eternal self.
- The Trichotomist uses the word “soul” in reference to one’s mind, will and emotions.
Either definition will fit our needs in this article.
My question is – does the soul have a limited capacity? Can it be expanded? Can it be exhausted? Is it like a tank that can be emptied then refilled again? If so, it would be wise of us to consider prioritizing that which has the attention of our soul, specifically in an age where the tragedies of an entire world are laid before us on a daily basis. One has to wonder if any person’s soul is designed to carry such a burden! It seems more likely that our souls are designed to carry the ordinary, immediate burdens of our lives. When we attempt to allow our souls to match the emotions expressed in the myriad of tragedies we are faced with through the international news media, our souls’ capacities quickly hit their limits. As a result, we have no capacity for the trials and tribulations in our immediate context, whether it is the trial of our teenage daughter, or the man who just lost his wife to cancer down the street. Could it be that we are not intended to take in all that is thrown at us on a daily basis – but rather just those things happening in our immediate circle of influence? How would life be different if we guarded our souls from international concerns and allowed ourselves to be more deeply affected by concern in our particular community? One has to wonder if depression is not a symptom of the overburdened souls of our population.
Consider a personal experiment where you begin to draw boundaries around your soul. Let in those things that you can see, touch, feel, and in which you can affect change. Limit the national and international drama that so many others are concerned with. You will at first feel as though you are coldhearted toward the pain of others around the world, but soon you will recognize that your heart is newly attuned to pain you never knew existed happening all around you.