Understanding Who We Are As A Whole Person

An Anatomy Lesson

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…” Hebrews 4:12

The author of Hebrews calls to our attention that we are complex beings.  This verse causes me to shed a new line of question for myself. Am I allowing Christ, the Living Word, to penetrate my whole being:  body, soul, and spirit? 

As a physical therapist, when a new patient comes to my clinic I listen to their symptoms and story. Then after my evaluation, I start with a short anatomy lesson. I find that if the patient understands how their hand is built, it will give them a better outcome to carry through with their treatment plan. Their comprehension of what they are strengthens their ability to do what I, as their technical advisor, asks of them.  I am finding out that this method of education is helping me to grasp a better understanding of my own well-being. The goal for myself is to allow God to “penetrate” into all areas of what I am!

The Body

“Five or six quarts of this all-purpose fluid (blood) suffice for all the body’s cells.  Sixty thousand miles of blood vessels link every living cell.”  Dr. Paul Brand

Modern science perhaps has its best understanding of this part of what we are. Some call it our “outer” being. The human body is an incredible creation, a masterpiece. Do you want to see a miracle? Look at your hand or in the mirror!

The Soul

The biblical scholar, Witness Lee, defines the soul as a person’s mind, will and emotion. As we go deeper into our “anatomy” the mystery of what we are made of becomes more complex, yet fascinating! Scientists are finding that we are wired for communion with God. We need to go even deeper to understand what this may mean.  

The Human Spirit

As Christians we often talk about the Holy Spirit; however, little conversation is given to what the human spirit is. Whether you believe that the spirit is part of the soul or an entity on its own, is not important.  What is relevant is that you know you have one, a spirit. More importantly, is to have at least a partial comprehension of its function. The human spirit is your very own conduit to God! How amazing and unfathomable is that?! Remember the patient in my clinic? We best understand how to promote well-being for ourselves by knowing what we are made of and then knowing how to care for it. This includes the human spirit, which allows us to “contain” God. This is not a position of arrogance, but of complete submission. So important is your spirit that He jealously seeks it!

As a physical therapist, I must ask myself “How do I exercise my spirit?” In the second part of this article, we will address prayer as an “exercise” to strengthen the human spirit. This will include its effect on the soul and body. You might say, working from the inside out towards a goal of allowing the Living Word to penetrate every aspect of what we are!

“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. This I well know.” Psalm 139:14


Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image; Dr. Paul Brand, Philip Yancey

The Economy of God; Witness Lee

What Your Body Knows About God; Rob Moll

(The Gateway Wellness Ministry is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended for evaluation and treatment. Consult your medical provider for your own personal care.) 


Anybody who is interested in the Wellness Ministry, please contact Jill Townsend (jillktownsend@gmail.com). You do not have to be a healthcare provider to be involved!