Loving the whole person

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Thank you to those who commented both publicly and privately to yesterday’s Catch. Bottom line is: I probably could have been better informed about what I was trying to say, but I do believe most of you got it anyway. I was simply trying to say that the whole person is important. People are important. The planet is important. Animals are important. Life is important. It’s all important. Care about it all if you love God, because God created it and He is in the process of restoring all that He made to its intended glory.

We used to care only about people’s souls, as if their physical reality didn’t matter. It’s going back to dust anyway. And what about the earth? It’s going to burn up. So let’s just get people saved and get the heck out of here. That used to be a very prevalent way of thinking among Christians which kept us from having to deal with poverty, hunger, or anyone’s physical condition. 

But Jesus healed lots of people without saving their souls. If they’d been following Him around for a while without anything to eat, He cared that they should eat something and not faint from exhaustion. Of course, He did something about saving their souls on the cross, but as He walked through His human existence, He touched a lot of people and made their lives better without discrimination. Not all of these people accepted Him as their Lord or Messiah, but that was never a prerequisite to Him caring for them. He loved them because He is love. It’s His nature to love.

The best way to handle this is not to divide people up into parts. Jim is not a spirit walking around in a body. Jim is Jim. He is a human being made in God’s image and loved by Him. The complexity of the inner workings of Jim’s body, soul and spirit is something only God can understand and we can marvel at. But we can love him, just as God does, because God is in us.

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6 Responses to Loving the whole person

  1. Stan Klassen says:

    I have a question. You reference God reworking this earth for our eternal future. How does that mesh with “a new heaven and a new earth”?

    • jwfisch says:

      It may be a new one but it’s still the earth. It’s still a good idea. We will have new bodies, but we will still be us. God doesn’t do away with His good ideas; He redeems them.

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    “Not all of these people accepted Him as their Lord or Messiah,” Perhaps not at the time but God knew they would later. Think of all the people saved in the early chapters of Acts. (Acts 2:41,47 and 4:4) Perhaps a lot of them were witness to the words and actions of Jesus, and so later believed in His resurrection.

    Our problem is trying to get them to believe in the resurrection first before they are witness to the good words and good works of Christ…which they should see though us! Remember Show and Tell? Show first (the goodness of God) and then tell (of His resurrection)

  3. Markus says:

    Love is not result oriented, it just ‘is’. You do not do acts born out of love simply because you want to achieve some ulterior goal, you just ‘do’. There is certainly a spiritual aspect to this of course, but I believe that we Christians tend to talk more ‘spirituality’ into it than necessary. Just go out and ‘do’. Harbour love, show your love and care for people. Just ‘do’.

  4. Matthew Liffengren says:

    John,

    Followed your music since “Jesus my Lord” I believe we sang that at church campfires. “Still Life” and “Johnny’s Cafe” are my favorite recordings of yours. Also heard you speak at a Music fest in California back in the 80’s with a bunch of Christian rock artist.

    God bless you!

    Matt

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