At Apollos Center, we treat each client holistically; believing that you are a marvelously designed person, composed of mind, body, and spirit. During this unique season of time, much of what we are talking about is focused on the health of the body. Physical health is essential. As the body houses the mind and spirit, the person instinctually seeks the preservation of the self through the prioritization of the body. HOWEVER, THESE PARTS OF SELF ARE AN INTERDEPENDENT SYSTEM. Just as the mind can not exist on earth without the body, the body is nothing but an empty shell apart for the mind and spirit.
We believe that man is a created in the image of God for the purpose of relationship with God and others. To understand this design lets look closer at the relationship between each element of self.
The body is the exterior part of self that provides that tangible opportunity for connection. WITHOUT THE BODY THE MIND WOULD HAVE NO WAY TO REACH OUT AND CONNECT. Whether through words, touch, or even non-verbal body language, the mind is expressed through the body, to communicate and connect with the external world.
THE MIND IS WHAT WE THINK OF WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE BRAIN; THE HOST FOR OUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, REACTIONS, AND DECISIONS. The seat of our personality is in the mind. In many ways the human mind works according to a systematic, almost computer like, way. However, since we are designed for relationship, and are not
robots, the mind is dynamic and individual. Each person is unique and has special abilities to create, reason, seek, and make decisions. The mind sends commands to the body. Through autonomic response and conscious decisions, the mind directs the body.
THE SPIRIT IS THE INTANGIBLE PART OF SELF. Regardless of religious orientation, each person is composed of an intangible part of self. Expressions of the spirit are deeper than words and are difficult to describe. Even attempting to type this paragraph, my mind reaches into the depth of my spirit and draws out words to put tangible ideas to this intangible element.
Genesis describes how God created the mind and body of man from the dust of the ground. Then He breathed His breath into the creation; the breath of life. The intangible breath of man can be understood as his spirit. The combined work of mind, body, and spirit exhibits the image of God.
Genesis 2:7, “ then the Lord God formed man out of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature.”
Not only are we designed for relationship with God and others, we are designed for interconnectedness internally. Similar to the distinctly three yet one person of the Holy Trinity; man, created in the image of God, is three elements in one self. When sin entered the world, unity was shattered for humanity. Man was separated from God. Humans would experience brokenness in relationships with others, and the disintegration of self.
The spirit of man is the hub of connection. It is through our spirit that we can connect to God and others. Science describes this process as interpersonal neurobiology. The intangible-self experiences connection, which is both received and sent out through the mind and body.
Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth” (utilizing the words of the mind and the voice of the body) that Jesus Christ is Lord; and you believe in your heart (spirit) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (the spirit reconnects with the Spirit of God).”
Salvation is available to mankind because the tangible God, Jesus Christ, came and sacrificed His own body, on the cross, and conquered the ultimate destruction of sin; death. By His physical wounds our spiritual condition is healed.
Eph. 2:13-14, “ But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. But he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down the diving wall of hostility.”
Therefore, when we talk about the healing and growth of a person, we are thinking holistically. True healing begins when our spirit is reconnected to the Spirit of God and the breath of life is restored in us. Redemption is both an immediate and long-term process of reconnection. THE RECONNECTED SPIRIT LEADS THE WAY FOR INTERNAL INTEGRATION OF SELF WHICH IS AN ESSENTIAL PRECURSOR TO CONNECTION WITH OTHERS.
The hierarchy of the system is realigned. If the spirit is leading the way to redemption CHANGE START FROM THE INSIDE OUT. (Ephesians 2:18-22) The spirit drives the mind into action and the mind directs the body. Many of our common mental illnesses are expressions of misalignment in the system of self
Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…carrying out the desires of the body and mind”.
When the mind takes over, we experience disorders of anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other types of thought and mood disorders. When the body takes charge, we experience conditions of addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction.
If our attempts to heal the mind and body ignore the spirit, our results are dismal and short-lived. The Bible describes the type of holistic healing we seek as regeneration. Just as human cells are reborn on a daily basis, the mind and spirit can be continually reborn and reorganize. We call this SANCTIFICATION. When the disintegration and disorganization of the system has not progressed extensively, this process of regeneration is often experienced through relationship with a pastor, mentor, or parent. We call this DISCIPLESHIP. But often, through extreme life events, or significant time on a dysfunctional trajectory, we benefit from the assistance of a trained professional who understands the design of man from the perspective of the Bible, the layout of a broken system of self, and a strategic process of healing. As professional CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS, we are resourced traveling companions on a journey of healing and restoration; inspired, designed, and led by the Holy Spirit of God.
To explore this concept further read Ephesians chapter 2. Look for brokenness, reconciliation, unity, and the relationship between the mind, body and spirit.
All biblical references are from the English Standard Version