What is your soul? How do you take care of your soul? Seasoned author and pastor, John Ortberg, answers these questions and more in his latest book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You.
Combining pieces of his own story with exhortations from his friend and mentor, Dallas Willard, and clear teaching from Scripture, Ortberg penned a must-read book for all who want to deepen their faith. My copy is highlighted, dog-eared, and starred on nearly every page. The book was so encouraging and refreshing, that I don’t even know where to begin a review. You’ll just have to pick up a copy for yourself.
Here are some of my favorite highlights and quotes:
The Soul Needs to be with God
In chapter 10, Ortberg reminds us that God wants to “be with” us, that our souls were made to walk with God. He points us back to the Genesis story where God walked with Adam and Eve each day.
“But the man and the woman sin, deliberately hiding from God among the trees in the garden. Yet God would not be denied. He went after them – in fact, the whole narrative of the Bible is all about God going after us. Relentlessly pursuing us.” (page 113)
He gives examples throughout the Bible of God “being with” someone, and then points to Isaiah’s prophecy that Jesus would be called “Immanuel, God with us.”He discusses how we can do the “with God” life all the time, no matter where we are or what we are doing.
The “with God” life is not a life of more religious activities or devotions or trying to be good. It is a life of inner peace and contentment for your soul with the maker and manager of the universe. The “without God” life is the opposite. It is death. It will kill your soul. (page 117)
Chapter 10 alone is worth the price of the book.
Feeling alone today? God desires to “be with” you.
Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.
– Dallas Willard (p.17)
That gem’s going on my wall somewhere!
You are the keeper of your soul.
Ortberg reminds us that we are the keeper of our souls, and the condition of our souls will affect others around us. Just as when we have a physical sickness and infect those who get too close, when our souls are sick, we can harm those around us. Caring for our soul means cleaning out the things that have become more important to us than God and finding our center in Him, not in our stuff or our accomplishments.
“When my soul is not centered in God, I define myself by my accomplishments, or my physical appearance, or my title, or my important friends. When I lose these, I lose my identity.” (p. 99)
See what I mean? So many refreshing, encouraging, and challenging sections of this book.
Soul Keeper is a refreshing drink for your soul from a clear stream of counter-cultural truth.
Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You is available now wherever books are sold. Trust me, you will enjoy this one.
*I received a complimentary advanced reading copy in exchange for my review. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.