Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes with your soul.

3 John 2

 

People are generally concerned about their health. This seems like a reasonable thing to care about. After all, our health impacts the nature and the quality of the life that we live to a very great degree. Yet, I do wonder about the relative importance that our culture places on physical health rather than focusing on spiritual well-being. In the United States insurance companies are required to pay for an annual physical exam, but there is no mention of checking in on the person’s spiritual state. People around the world pour resources into getting into and staying in shape, looking younger, and performing at a higher level; yet, few seem to have anything to give to regular engagement with our God.

 

Our priorities may be just a little off. In fact, it might actually be better for our enjoyment of life if we put more of our time and resources into knowing God. When John expresses this traditional greeting to his friend Gaius, he adds a note about the good health of his soul. John knows that his friend has a deep, an intimate, relationship with Christ, and as a result of this relationship Gaius is a very healthy man. This is not a comment about the false teaching that said that physical ailments were caused by sin, for John did not believe that. Instead, it is a comment about what constitutes true health.

 

The state of a person’s soul is much more important than that of the body. This body that we possess is a short-term place of residence. Every one of them will stop functioning in due time. Yet, that part of our being that we call the soul lives on into eternity. Our soul is the part of us that is formed out of the character and the nature of God if we know Him and is made up by worldly rebellion and rejection of God if we do not. For people who know Christ and thus know God, peace resides within, and this peace is far greater than all of the circumstances of life. The peace that comes from the presence of Christ grants comfort, mercy, and understanding to our days even when the body that we dwell within is failing us. So, like John, I pray for health for my soul and for yours.