Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review



Monday, June 16, 2014

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg



 In Soul Keeping, John Ortberg explains why our souls matter, what they actually are, and how we can help keep them, and ourselves, healthy and whole. While the book is ostensibly about the soul, the friendship between Willard and Ortberg is what drives the book along and gives it its most touching moments.

Ortberg explains the nature of the soul as the part of a person that coordinates and integrates the others: body, mind, and will. When the soul is whole, everything else runs smoothly. Each one experiences: peace in the midst of chaos, ease during challenges, and hope in living. When the soul is damaged, body, mind, and will are at odds, working against each other. When our souls are damaged, our minds believe an action is good, but our bodies do another; we eat the ice cream knowing the kale is better

Essentially, this book is a study on how we care for the most important part of us our souls Once he establishes what the soul is, he moves on to reviewing what the soul needs and eventually how the soul is restored. Often in church we sing, "It is well with my soul." But how do you know if your soul is well? And what do you do if your soul is not so well? Ortberg helps the reader to discover what the soul is, what the soul needs, and what the soul restored becomes. Ortberg does this by sharing intimate glimpses of his own soul and life lessons learned from Dallas Willard about the soul.

Some quotes from the book will start you thinking seriously about your soul: 1."Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." 2. "If your soul is healthy, no external circumstances can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstances can redeem your life." 3. "What matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become."

The lessons the author learns are instructive for the reader. It is a eulogy, where Ortberg tells of how he struggled, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, at living out the wisdom of Dallas Willard. He addresses anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness of people. Many times, not always, these are symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its source of life.

I love the way he uses stories to make a point and illustrate the truth. The three sections of this book are: What The Soul Is, What The Soul Needs, and The Soul Restored. 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.

 So many refreshing, encouraging, and challenging sections of this book. If you are looking for something to deepen your walk this is a good place to start.
I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their BookLook program for Bloggers.

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