Paul powerfully expressed his love for the Christians in Thessolonica by writing, "We proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us." 1 Thess 2:7-8 (NASB)
They not only gave the best gift in the world, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, they also gave their "own lives." This literally means, their souls. They became soul friends. What a powerful relationship!
"A person without a soul friend is like a body without a head." St Brigid of Kildare (an early Irish Christian Nun)
An Anglican Priest, Patrick Thomas, explained this quote, "Without a soul friend, a person can not rightly see, hear, perceive, discern, discover or know. With out a soul friend a person can not tell if a context 'smells' awry. A person can not 'taste' goodness."
A soul friend, do you have one? Who is this person or persons in your life? How would you describe this friend? Is this person so deeply in love with Jesus and His Word that they naturally care about the condition of your soul? Does this person honor, respect and nurture your soul? Do they take the time to truly listen to you as a whole person to assist you in seeking the condition, acceptance, healing and restoration of your soul?
I have discovered that my soul friends are like beautiful cabins in the woods. They are friends who provide a place of belonging and rest. They are friends who provide safety and warmth. They are friends who listen and accept the good and not so good condition of my soul. They are friends who help re-kindle the divine fire within my soul.
I am fortunate to have a few in my life. God has provided a handful of them through out my life in which I am deeply grateful. How about you? Can you imagine if every person had one or two of these soul friends? How would our lives be enhanced? How would our families be beautified with the presence of Christ? How would the communities we are part of change? How could the world be infected with healthy, beautiful, strong souls grown by Jesus?
Praying for each of you to have a few soul friends.