Convincing Your Friend That They Have A Soul
by Clay Kraby
Understanding the existence and importance of the human soul has a profound impact on a person’s worldview.
Whether you are engaged in a conversation regarding the existence of God, explaining the intrinsic value of your friend’s life during a difficult time, or perhaps taking a stand for the protection of the unborn, conveying the concept of the human soul provides helpful and relevant insight into the theology that forms the Christian worldview.
While there are many pertinent verses in Scripture that deal with the soul, it may be necessary to first establish that belief in the concept of the human soul is a reasonable and, in fact, logical outcome of several key observations. Talking through the following concepts can allow you to simultaneously expose a person to an understanding of what he soul is and help them arrive at the correct conclusion that they indeed have one (or more accurately are one).
Every person, whether an atheist, Buddhist, or Christian has a deeply held understanding of their own identity. Pivoting off of this basic point you can begin to examine important observations which reveal that this sense of identity cannot be tied to our material bodies or even our immaterial consciousness, but is a product of the human soul.
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Observation 1: Our Identity is Not in our Possessions or Position
Even the most worldly of individuals would be quick to agree that who we are is not determined by what we possess. Similarly, our true identity cannot be found in our profession or other status symbol. Although many people sadly live as though this were not true, it is easy to see that even a person who is stripped of material goods and status still maintains their identity as a unique individual. Though their outward circumstances have been changed, they remain the same person. Our personal identity cannot be linked to our jobs, wealth, friends, or any other worldly possession.
Observation 2: Our Identity is Not in our Physical Bodies
Think about the following: We are always moving forward in time; with each passing second we are getting older. It is natural to reflect on our current selves and conclude that “this is who I am.” Questions of identity are typically answered by referencing our current physical, mental, environmental, and/or emotional status. Keep in mind, however, that this moment is fleeting. You were once younger, and will very soon be older than you are now. Were you still “you” when you were 8 years old? Certainly you are the same person, and a 30-year-old man would be quite correct in identifying their childhood self as also being “them.” If the person you’re speaking with lives another 20 years, will they still be the same person? Of course. Your friend will maintain their identity throughout their lives, because it is not tied to a solitary moment (or even entire phase) of life…
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