Strategies for Seeing Anew #5
…towards seeing people holistically
What does this mean?
People are not just minds or bodies. The Bible sometimes refers to people as 'body and soul' or ‘body, soul and spirit’, with soul and spirit including the will, emotions and thoughts and our relationship to God (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Psalm 31:9). The Bible is not precise in its terms: ‘soul’ can stand for the whole human being and take on the meaning ‘person’ or stand for an aspect of our make-up (Genesis 2:7).
People are not like glove puppets, with the soul inside the body. The two are intricately connected and affect each other – they describe different facets of what we are as whole people. Worship involves the whole person as do most activities. The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ (Luke 10:27).
"Flesh" is not the same as body in the Bible. It can refer to ‘flesh and blood’, as we use the term (Ephesians 6:12), but it is also used to describe any aspect of human nature that veers away from God, so it can apply to mind and emotions as well as bodily behaviours that turn away from God (2 Peter 2:10). The Bible does not see the soul as good and the body as bad; both can be redeemed, both can be spiritual. The Bible talks of the mind being renewed by God and of our bodies being offered in worship (Romans 12:1-2).
There is no use trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it. I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity taught that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the only one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body – which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, and that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in Heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy. C. S. Lewis
There is a spiritual dimension of life that helps us to connect with God, but it is intricately interwoven with our bodies and minds.
This section is about moving towards seeing people holistically. You may wish to think about where people move from; is it a move from seeing people as ‘just bodies’, ‘just minds’ or a collection of parts, or is it a movement from lack of awareness of a different view of humanity?
What does this mean in school?
Education can easily drift into seeing students only in terms of their minds rather than as whole beings. Resisting this need not mean that teachers see themselves as social workers or parents. If we are going to do justice to the way our students are created – as complex and integrated beings – we need to see them holistically.
- A problem with learning may not be just intellectual; be aware of other possible causes, bodily, emotional, and spiritual.
- Design a lesson so that students become aware that they are complex beings. For example, in PE draw attention to how exercise of the body can help us emotionally and intellectually.
- Raise questions that address various aspects of who students are.
- The spiritual aspect of humanity can be included in many subjects: history, English, drama, geography and science. Scientists are also complex beings; explore how their emotions, faith and thinking may affect their findings.
Think of a time when you became aware of your students as complex beings and not just minds to be taught. Could you have developed that so that students became aware of it?
This article is drawn on by:
- Example: Bodies and People
- Example: Faith and Life
- Example: Faith and Poetry
- Example: History and Faith
- Example: Literature and Faith
- Example: Faith and Science
- Example: Maths and Forgiveness
- Example: Meeting Parents
- Example: Geography and Faith
- Example: Maps and Local Needs
- Example: Addressing Fears
In this document:
1I don't need to write to you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2You know that the Lord's return will be as a thief coming at night. 3People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape. 4My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief. 5You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark. 6Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armour. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet. 9God doesn't intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Christ died for us, so that we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11That's why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. 12My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn't living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15Don't be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else. 16Always be joyful 17and never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 19Don't turn away God's Spirit 20or ignore prophecies. 21Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22and don't have anything to do with evil. 23I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this. 25Friends, please pray for us. 26Give the Lord's followers a warm greeting. 27In the name of the Lord I beg you to read this letter to all his followers. 28I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you!
1I come to you, Lord , for protection. Don't let me be ashamed. Do as you have promised and rescue me. 2Listen to my prayer and hurry to save me. Be my mighty rock and the fortress where I am safe. 3You, Lord God, are my mighty rock and my fortress. Lead me and guide me, so that your name will be honoured. 4Protect me from hidden traps and keep me safe. 5You are faithful, and I trust you because you rescued me. 6I hate the worshippers of worthless idols, but I trust you, Lord . 7I celebrate and shout because you are kind. You saw all my suffering, and you cared for me. 8You kept me from the hands of my enemies, and you set me free. 9Have pity, Lord ! I am suffering and almost blind. My whole body aches. 10I have known only sorrow all my life long, and I suffer year after year. I am weak from sin, and my bones are limp. 11My enemies insult me. Neighbours are even worse, and I disgust my friends. People meet me in the street, and they turn and run. 12I am completely forgotten like someone dead. I am merely a broken dish. 13I hear the crowds whisper, Everyone is afraid! They are plotting and scheming to murder me. 14But I trust you, Lord , and I claim you as my God. 15My life is in your hands. Save me from enemies who hunt me down. 16Smile on me, your servant. Have pity and rescue me. 17I pray only to you. Don't disappoint me. Disappoint my cruel enemies until they lie silent in their graves. 18Silence those proud liars! Make them stop boasting and insulting your people. 19You are wonderful, and while everyone watches, you store up blessings for all who honour and trust you. 20You are their shelter from harmful plots, and you are their protection from vicious gossip. 21I will praise you, Lord , for showing great kindness when I was like a city under attack. 22I was terrified and thought, They've chased me far away from you! But you answered my prayer when I shouted for help. 23All who belong to the Lord , show how you love him. The Lord protects the faithful, but he severely punishes everyone who is proud. 24All who trust the Lord , be cheerful and strong. (A special psalm by David.) The joy of forgiveness
1So the heavens and the earth and everything else were created. 2By the seventh day God had finished his work, and so he rested. 3God blessed the seventh day and made it special because on that day he rested from his work. 4That's how God created the heavens and the earth. The Garden of Eden When the Lord God made the heavens and the earth, 5no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land. 6But streams came up from the ground and watered the earth. 7The Lord God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. 8The Lord made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there. 9The Lord God placed all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees in the garden. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of the trees gave lifethe other gave the power to know the difference between right and wrong. 10From Eden a river flowed out to water the garden, then it divided into four rivers. 11The first one is the River Pishon that flows through the land of Havilah, 12where pure gold, rare perfumes, and precious stones are found. 13The second is the River Gihon that winds through Ethiopia. 14The River Tigris that flows east of Assyria is the third, and the fourth is the River Euphrates. 15The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. 16But the Lord told him, You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 17except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over! 18The Lord God said, It isn't good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him. 19So the Lord took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That's how they got their names. None of these was the right kind of partner for the man. 21So the Lord God made him fall into a deep sleep, and he took out one of the man's ribs. Then after closing the man's side, 22the Lord made a woman out of the rib. The Lord God brought her to the man, 23and the man exclaimed, Here is someone like me! She is part of my body, my own flesh and bones. She came from me, a man. So I will name her Woman! 24That's why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person. 25Although the man and his wife were both naked, they were not ashamed. The first sin
1Later the Lord chose seventy-two other followers and sent them out two by two to every town and village where he was about to go. 2He said to them: A large crop is in the fields, but there are only a few workers. Ask the Lord in charge of the harvest to send out workers to bring it in. 3Now go, but remember, I am sending you like lambs into a pack of wolves. 4Don't take along a money bag or a travelling bag or sandals. And don't waste time greeting people on the road. 5As soon as you enter a home, say, God bless this home with peace. 6If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. 7Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don't move around from house to house. 8If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9Heal their sick and say, God's kingdom will soon be here! 10But if the people of a town refuse to welcome you, go out into the street and say, 11We are shaking the dust from our feet as a warning to you. And you can be sure that God's kingdom will soon be here! 12I tell you that on the day of judgment the people of Sodom will get off easier than the people of that town! The unbelieving towns (Matthew 11.20-24) Jesus continued: 13You people of Chorazin are in for trouble! You people of Bethsaida are also in for trouble! If the miracles that took place in your towns had happened in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have turned to God long ago. They would have dressed in sackcloth and put ashes on their heads. 14On the day of judgment the people of Tyre and Sidon will get off easier than you will. 15People of Capernaum, do you think you will be honoured in heaven? Well, you will go down to hell! 16My followers, whoever listens to you is listening to me. Anyone who says No to you is saying No to me. And anyone who says No to me is really saying No to the one who sent me. The return of the seventy-two 17When the seventy-two followers returned, they were excited and said, Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name! 18Jesus told them: I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. 20But don't be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven! Jesus thanks his Father (Matthew 11.25-27; 13.16,17) 21At that same time, Jesus felt the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit, and he said: My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that is what pleased you. 22My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who really knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too. 23Jesus then turned to his disciples and said to them in private, You are really blessed to see what you see! 24Many prophets and kings were eager to see what you see and to hear what you hear. But I tell you that they did not see or hear. The good Samaritan 25An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. Teacher, he asked, what must I do to have eternal life? 26Jesus answered, What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them? 27The man replied, The Scriptures say, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. They also say, Love your neighbours as much as you love yourself. 28Jesus said, You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life. 29But the man wanted to show that he knew what he was talking about. So he asked Jesus, Who are my neighbours? 30Jesus replied: As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. 32Later a temple helper came to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side. 33A man from Samaria then came travelling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him 34and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return. 36Then Jesus asked, Which one of these three people was a real neighbour to the man who was beaten up by robbers? 37The teacher answered, The one who showed pity. Jesus said, Go and do the same! Martha and Mary 38The Lord and his disciples were travelling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. 40Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me! 41The Lord answered, Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, 42but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her. Prayer (Matthew 6.9-13; 7.7-11)
1Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, 2Obey your father and your mother, 3and you will have a long and happy life. 4Parents, don't be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord. Slaves and masters 5Slaves, you must obey your earthly masters. Show them great respect and be as loyal to them as you are to Christ. 6Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. You are slaves of Christ, so with your whole heart you must do what God wants you to do. 7Gladly serve your masters, as though they were the Lord himself, and not simply people. 8You know that you will be rewarded for any good things you do, whether you are slaves or free. 9Slave owners, you must treat your slaves with this same respect. Don't threaten them. They have the same Master in heaven that you do, and he doesn't have any favourites. The fight against evil 10Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11Put on all the armour that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. 12We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13So put on all the armour that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. 14Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God's justice protect you like armour. 15Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit. 18Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God's people. 19Pray that I will be given the message to speak and that I may fearlessly explain the mystery about the good news. 20I was sent to do this work, and that's the reason I am in jail. So pray that I will be brave and will speak as I should. 21I want you to know how I am getting along and what I am doing. That's why I am sending Tychicus to you. He is a dear friend, as well as a faithful servant of the Lord. He will tell you how I am doing, and he will cheer you up. 23I pray that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will give peace, love, and faith to every follower! 24May God be kind to everyone who keeps on loving our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Sometimes false prophets spoke to the people of Israel. False teachers will also sneak in and speak harmful lies to you. But these teachers don't really belong to the Master who paid a great price for them, and they will quickly destroy themselves. 2Many people will follow their evil ways and cause others to tell lies about the true way. 3They will be greedy and cheat you with smooth talk. But long ago God decided to punish them, and God doesn't sleep. 4God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of hell until the time of judgment. 5And during Noah's time, God did not have pity on the ungodly people of the world. He destroyed them with a flood, though he did save eight people, including Noah, who preached the truth. 6God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin. 7Lot lived right and was greatly troubled by the terrible way those wicked people were living. He was a good man, and day after day he suffered because of the evil things he saw and heard. So the Lord rescued him. 9This shows that the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their sufferings and to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment. 10The Lord is especially hard on people who disobey him and don't think of anything except their own filthy desires. They are reckless and proud and are not afraid of cursing the glorious beings in heaven. 11Although angels are more powerful than these evil beings, even the angels don't dare to accuse them to the Lord. 12These people are no better than senseless animals that live by their feelings and are born to be caught and killed. They speak evil of things they don't know anything about. But their own corrupt deeds will destroy them. 13They have done evil, and they will be rewarded with evil. They think it is fun to have wild parties during the day. They are immoral, and the meals they eat with you are spoilt by the shameful and selfish way they carry on. 14All they think about is having sex with someone else's husband or wife. There is no end to their wicked deeds. They trick people who are easily fooled, and their minds are filled with greedy thoughts. But they are headed for trouble! 15They have left the true road and have gone down the wrong path by following the example of the prophet Balaam. He was the son of Beor and loved what he got from being a criminal. 16But a donkey corrected him for this evil deed. It spoke to him with a human voice and made him stop his foolishness. 17These people are like dried up water holes and clouds blown by a storm. The darkest part of hell is waiting for them. 18They boast out loud about their stupid nonsense. And by being vulgar and crude, they trap people who have barely escaped from living the wrong kind of life. 19They promise freedom to everyone. But they are merely slaves of filthy living, because people are slaves of whatever controls them. 20When they learnt about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they escaped from the filthy things of this world. But they are again caught up and controlled by these filthy things, and now they are in a worse state than they were at first. 21They would have been better off if they had never known about the right way. Even after they knew what was right, they turned their backs on the holy commandments that they were given. 22What happened to them is just like the true saying, A dog will come back to lick up its own vomit. A pig that has been washed will roll in the mud.
1Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. 3I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we are each part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. 6God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully. Rules for Christian living 9Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10Love each other as brothers and sisters and honour others more than you do yourself. 11Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home. 14Ask God to bless everyone who ill-treats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are cleverer than others. Make friends with ordinary people. 17Don't ill-treat someone who has ill-treated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone. 19Dear friends, don't try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, I am the one to take revenge and pay them back. 20The Scriptures also say, If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. 21Don't let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. Obey rulers