Our fingerprints leave impressions made by the minute ridge formations or patterns found on the finger. To date, no two people have been found to have the same arrangement of patterns, even twins. Even as we shed skin, the ridge formations are identical and remain unchanged throughout our life. Investigations have relied heavily on the thumbprint for someone’s identity, but with advanced technology, we can learn much more about someone than just a matched print. Mass Spectrometry is able to not only provide an image but it can also identify the weight of molecules and whose molecules they are. The molecular information is so precise that it will reveal your lifestyle, your actions, your routines and your health. They are our silent storytellers with just a touch.
Just as every human exhibits a unique thumbprint, we all display distinct “soul prints” along life’s course. Our words, attitudes, values and behaviors etch indelible imprints on the mind and heart of those we share life with, and they are driven by our emotions. Peter Scazzero says, “emotions are the language of the soul; they are the cry that gives the heart a voice….” Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our heart is deceitful. Matthew 15:18 says the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” On this side of heaven, we will always be at war with the flesh, and the spirit “For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17).
Similarly, in Plato’s allegory of the chariot, he compares the story of two winged horses and a charioteer to describe the human soul or psyche. One horse is mortal (flesh) and is described as deformed, obstinate, the mate of insolence and pride that requires the whip. The other is immortal (spirit) and considered noble, a lover of honor, modesty and temperance with no need of the whip. The charioteer is tasked with reining the steeds, guiding and harnessing them toward heaven.
Spirit and flesh
So, if our emotions are our means of connecting and our heart is deceitful, how do we live out the push and pull of the battle between our spirit and the flesh? How do we harness the flesh and the spirit so that our “soul print” is a blessing versus a burden? The first is to spend time praying and reading the Bible. Most of you already know this, but it’s not what we want to hear. We want a one-and-done solution that doesn’t require much from us, but this is where we find release and relief from trying to “work” it out. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Time in conversation with God and reading His words naturally begins to transform us from the inside out. With that said, God does require us to participate in our journey of faith; the process is vital. The second is to live out His truth, His ways with those we share life with. We don’t just exude truth; it’s demonstrated in our behavior.
Passive/Aggressive or Assertive
We’ve all heard the term Passive/Aggressive; both are attempts to gain control, and both are offensive. Assertiveness is to be truthful in a relationally well-balanced manner, and it often requires courage. Below is a comparison chart provided by LifeEssentialsProgram.com. of Passive, Assertiveness and Aggressive behaviors. Where do you line up? How are you demonstrating a life of truth?
Says I am less
Comes from Insecurity
Believes your needs are more
Is survival mode
Comes out of shame
Respects both parties
Says we are equal
Comes from Confidence
Believes both party’s need
Is truly living mode
Comes out of humility
Will be straightforward
Says I am more
Comes from Insecurity
Believes my needs are more
Is survival mode
Comes out of pride
Everyone falls in each of the categories some of the time, but if you are heavy in the passive or aggressive column, you have an opportunity to grow. The more we practice anything, the better we become. Social and communication skills can be learned and developed. Harnessing our flesh and choosing to respond in a respectful manner is part of the “living out” process. To be able to guide and direct our emotions determines our well -being and the well-being of those we share life with. The good news is we don’t do it alone; as we abide through reading His words and prayer, the Holy Spirit pricks our spirit and reminds us to live a life of truth. Our physical bodies breathe oxygen, our spirit breathes through prayer, our soul breathes through our emotions.
Our fingerprint is only skin deep. Our soul print impacts eternity.
Live the Life South Florida exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education, beginning in middle school through senior adults. We are educators, coaches, and pastoral counselors. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to consider participating in a Live the Life workshop as well as exploring a class with Life Essentials ([email protected]). If you’re looking for a clinical counselor or therapist, we are blessed to have many in the South Florida community. We’d be honored to provide you a list of highly qualified and reputable individuals. Visit livethelifesoflo.org
Read more articles by Lisa May at goodnewsfl.org/author/lisa-may/