There has been a lot of focus placed on manhood in the last few years. In fact, entire new businesses have emerged from this newfound focus on manhood. As a result, you see lots of ads focused on beards and beard grooming products, axes, knives, guns and ammo, rugged outerwear, microbrews, whiskeys, and scotch, along with every other cliche manly product you can think of. It must be working because people are buying, but these are surface-level components of manhood. The market is selling short what it truly means to be a complete man.
So what is a complete man? To understand this, we must first understand what makes a man, or any human for that matter. In simple terms, people are spirits who have a soul and live in a body.
We are a three-part whole divinely created to be God-conscious, self-conscious, and world-conscious. However, to operate in a manner consistent with our divine creation, we need to understand the function of each part.
The body sometimes referred to as our “flesh”, is purely physical and consists of our five senses: hearing, smell, sight, touch, and taste. It’s our physical shell that the world sees but is only temporary in terms of eternity.
The soul is who we are as individuals. It’s where our emotions, reason, will, desire, and personality comes from. Our choices, feelings, and self-image all come from our soul. It’s the window between our body and our spirit.
The spirit is eternal and, if you’re a believer in Christ, it’s where he resides in you. Our faith, hope, and love come from our spirit. It’s the source of our inner light.
When you visualize these three parts, imagine a three-ringed target with the body occupying the outer ring, the soul occupying the next inner ring, and the spirit occupying the center. This is the divine order of our three-part whole. In other words, for us to operate as truly complete men, we need to place the right amount of emphasis on each part.
Our spirit is our core, therefore, we should consider it king. After all, our heavenly King, Christ, resides there. Our time, attention, and energy should be adequately focused on supporting our spirit.
Our soul should be considered a servant of the spirit. All of our thoughts and desires should be subject to whatever the needs of our spirit are.
Our body, a temporary shell, is a mere slave to our spirit. Our actions, the words we speak and the deeds we perform, should only serve our spirit in ways that demonstrate the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (more on that in the coming weeks).
Earlier, I mentioned that the soul was a window between our body and spirit. Here’s why that’s so important. Because our soul is where our thoughts reside, wherever we direct our focus (making money, sports, sex, work, exercise, or God), that area of focus becomes our god.
Don’t misunderstand me, making money, exercise, etc., those things by themselves aren’t bad, but when one or more of those things get all of our time, attention, and energy, we allow those things to take the place of our one true God.
Therefore, sin is the result of allowing the five senses of our body to supersede the divine nature of our spirit. In essence, sin results when the divine order of the three-part whole is flipped inside-out. In sin, our body becomes our king and our spirit becomes its slave. When this happens, it’s impossible to let Christ fully into our lives. When this happens, we’re incomplete and an incomplete man cannot effectively lead.
What are you doing in your life to ensure your three-part whole remains in the correct order? Who, or what is your king? If it’s not your spirit, what will you do to change that?