The Kingdom of God is initially a foreign country to us. We are not residents of the world, but citizens of Heaven, learning what that means. Our first experience in life is with the language and culture of the world. It’s what we’ve grown up with: a way of thinking and speaking that can be laced with cynicism, sarcasm, hopelessness and fear.
~ Graham Cooke
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. … The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” … Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Oh beloved, it is true.
Each of us is made Imago Dei. And this means that we too are one, but made of different and distinct parts. Each of these flow into each other in such a way as to present as a single aspect. But truly, we are three-in-one.
Now, of course, this is but a shadow of the Triune One. But, it is a picture of how These work in a dance, and are free to move and affect Each Other.
For us humans, this fool of a writer simplifies the model into the idea that our tripartite self is spirit (that part of us which is, even now, able to live in communion with G_d), soul (our mind and will), and flesh (simply that part of us which is created and physical – and that which will call out to us to feed its lust). And, the three of these act somewhat like a teeter-totter.
Imagine, spirit being on the left side of the teeter-totter and flesh being on the right… With the soul (mind, in a tripartite model) being the fulcrum… However, we have ability to move the fulcrum to one side or the other. This is a huge insight if we allow it. The mind exerts huge leverage over the equation. This is the ‘mindset’ we develop. It changes how powerfully spirit processes and how much influence the flesh can exert.
Can we see it?
We have control over our mindset. For me, I need to stay in rescuer mindset (just doing my job, effectively, compassionately, but just doin’ my job) – Moving the fulcrum right, taking leverage away from flesh, and not ‘angry at the victim’ mindset – thus giving the flesh increasing leverage (and it has definitely had moments of wanting to take full advantage!!!)…
In this, we can see what paramedics and some cops go through – an utter disillusionment in their calling, with a deep desire to keep helping at the same time (back to your PTSD article). And both David and Paul have moments of exasperation in Scripture, so i guess we are in good company.
So, hopefully the question is obvious. Will we give an advantage to the flesh? Or, will we learn to walk in the spirit? And hopefully, the answer to the question is just as obvious.
Tonight is your night. Move that soulic mind to the right side of the equation and let your spirit reign in life.
Sadness of soul follows from the heaviness of self-regard, a sadness and weight which precludes real union with the other. Joy, on the other hand, must be the principal “emotion” shared by the Trinitarian Persons, since their life is nothing but self-forgetting love. Joy, a concomitant of that ecstasy, is the mark of anyone caught in the loop of grace and the gift of Jesus Christ to his Church.
~ Bishop Robert Barron