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Monday, June 14, 2010

Why Am I So Ugly When I Am Tired?

I am a bear when I get tired or hungry. I wish that I could say that I allow my spirit to be in tune with God all the time but my physical state certainly has a big affect on my spiritual state. Why is that?

We are all comprised of body, soul and spirit. The body, of course, is how we relate to this world. We are recognized by our looks, voice or any other means that physically identifies us to this world. Our bodies get tired. Inside the body is the brain. It begins to process the information wearily when we are tired. It responds to the signals the rest of the body gives it. It says it is sleepy, hungry, tired, dirty, irritated as it responds to outside stimuli.

The soul is mind, will and emotions. The brain, our information processor, sends its info to our minds. The mind is part of the soul. It makes our decisions for us. It can stimulate our emotions. It can stimulate our wills.  The mind can be influenced by the other two parts of the soul, too. Emotions can override a good decision process. Will can keep one on task when the person is emotionally drained. We cannot separate the parts of who we are. They interact with each other. The result may be that a person gets angry because he is physically tired. A person may even give up when his will is normally strong because of pain or exhaustion.

The spirit is our communicator with the Spirit of God. The spirit processes spiritual info to the mind. The mind responds to this with its decisions. The mind set on the spirit makes spiritual decisions but the mind set on the flesh makes worldly decisions.

It is very hard to deny our bodies. One of the values for fasting is that it does exactly that. It puts the demanding body in its place. It sacrifices the flesh so that the spirit can have full control. It focuses the individual on the spirit and spiritual things.

Most of the time, however, the body catches us unaware. It demands without warning. It demands that it be rested, stimulated, fed or anything else that pleases it. We often fail to recognize what is happening and go with the flow.

Just think of Jesus' disciples. He had asked a few of them to go with Him to pray. It was a very stressful night and they knew it.  He goes a distance away from them to pray. He is emotional but His emotions do not overcome His spirit. His disciples are tired and they fall asleep. Their spirits were not in control. Their bodies were. That is why Jesus said, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." The disciples were caught off guard. They surely would have continued to pray if their spirits had been processing Jesus' desire to have them pray. Their bodies demanded sleep and they surrendered.

I have known many saints who do not let their discomfort go unnoticed. That doesn't make my own actions less reprehensible. I just find myself in good company when I act non-Christian. I wouldn't have that problem if I kept my mind on the things of the Spirit.

Physical exhaustion doesn't cause us to put our minds on the flesh. It just reveals that our minds are on the flesh. When it happens I should recognize how I am acting and make sure my mind is filled with the Spirit. Otherwise, I am not much different from the rest of the world.

Romans 8:5 (ESV)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

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