We don’t really think about it that much, yet it’s the most central part of our being: the soul.

Author John Ortberg has written the book Soul Keeping, and says the condition of the soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith. From his website:



The soul is NOT “a theological and abstract subject.” The soul is the coolest, eeriest, most mysterious, evocative, crucial, sacred, eternal, life-directing, fragile, indestructible, controversial, expensive dimension of your existence. Jesus said it’s worth more than the world. You’d be an idiot not to prize it above all else. Shouldn’t you get pretty clear on exactly what it is? Shouldn’t you know what it runs on? Wouldn’t it be worth knowing how to care for it?

So how do you care for it? Ortberg joined Faith Radio Mornings to share 3 ways to care for your soul:

1. Cultivate an awareness of God

Ortberg says, “the soul needs to be with God.” So he says you have to cultivate an awareness of God at all times by not leaning on your own power and will to get through life:

“As soon as I start thinking about [doing things by myself] then I am relying on myself and my self worth starts to get at risk and my soul begins to be thin and stretched and in pain. Then when I remember, nope, God is right here. My worth is not at stake and my soul is well in God’s hand.

2. Rest your soul

Rest, Ortberg says, is a “huge need for the soul”. He says soul rest is part of the reason for Jesus’s words in Matthew 11:28:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)

Ortberg says in our day and age with so much stuff competing for our attention and time, soul rest is crucial in our culture.

3. Experience gratitude in each moment of your life

Ortberg says he’s been involved in a study called SoulPulse, which studies the soul and how to care for it. Ortberg says,

“We have found the one experience that increases both people’s awareness of God and also their experience of the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives…is gratitude. When people experience gratitude, just gratefulness for being alive or for life as a gift, it means that I experience more of God in my life and more of His fruit in my life.”


You can hear the full interview with John Orberg on Faith Radio Mornings below:

John Ortberg

Here’s the trailer for the book:

John Ortberg is the senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC). John’s teaching centers around how faith in Christ can impact our everyday lives with God. He has written books on spiritual formation including, The Life You’ve Always Wanted, Know Doubt, The Me I Want To Be, and most recently, Who is This Man?. John teaches around the world at conferences and churches.

Photo: flickr

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