A Complicated, Connected Combination of Mind, Body, and Spirit

People are complicated. 

I know our society likes to joke about women being complicated, but personally, I don’t think women have the market on that attribute.

Why are we so complicated?  Why do seemingly simple events, words spoken by others, actions taken by ourselves and others, exercise choices, health choices, food choices, etc. have such wide-ranging effects on us?

I believe the answer to this question can be found in Genesis 2:7 (NASB).

7. Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Have you ever stopped to imagine what it must have been like for God at the beginning of our time?  He began as a community of three (Father, Word/Son, Holy Spirit) and at some point, seems to have desired more.  Perhaps to fulfill this desire for community, he created angels – spiritual creatures like himself.  *But not all the angels remained loyal to their creator.  Instead, some of them, following their leader, Lucifer, rose up in rebellion against God and were ultimately cast out of heaven. 

Following the creation of the angels, God did something new.  He created something he was not. He created physical somethings: the earth, plants, and animals. 

Up to this point in the creation process, God has made everything from nothing.  Everything he has created is either of a spiritual nature or a physical nature.

And then he gets to mankind.  Rather than creating man from nothing and making him either spiritual or physical, he takes life from two pre-existing entities.

  • Dust from the ground: God used the physical, visible elements of creation and formed the body of man – subject to the fullness of physical **laws.
  • The breath of life: God put the living, spiritual element that originated from himself into the human body – subject to the fullness of spiritual **laws.

With these two actions, the man became a living being.  Some translations use the word soul.  After God put together the physical and the spiritual, the man became a living soul.

 In essence, God combined the two elements of pre-existing creation and brought to life something new – something altogether different and unique from anything else in creation.  Here, for the very first time, the physical and the spiritual intermingled in the same entity.

Think about that.  Human beings are the only entity in the entire creation in which both the physical and the spiritual are equally present.  That means that as physical creatures, humans are subjected to the physical elements and, as spiritual creatures, they are subjected to the spiritual ones. This is already sounding complicated.

But there’s more.

Think of the different parts that make up who a person is.  There is their body, their mind (logic, emotions, personality, and conscience), and their spirit.  Because a person is both physical and spiritual, every part of a person is affected by both elements.  How?  I’m not completely sure.  What I do know, I’ll talk about in later posts, but for now, just think about the fact that we, as human beings, are simultaneously part of two separate worlds!  Talk about complicated!

This means that the physical words we speak also have a spiritual nature.  The physical things we do have a spiritual impact.  Our thoughts and feelings are both physical and spiritual in nature. 

So, God made us complex (complicated) and called it good.  And, although I don’t understand it all and may not always feel the “good” part of it, if God said it, I’m inclined to believe it’s true.   

Psalm 8 (NASB)

1. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!

2. From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

3.When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained;

4. What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?

5. Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!

6. You make him to rule over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under his feet,

7. All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,

8. The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

9.O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!

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Where/how do you see the spiritual and physical playing out in life? Let me know in the comments!

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*Isaiah 14:12-14, Revelation 12:7-9

** Laws referring to, “a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions” (Mirriam-Webster definition)



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