Every soul that crosses our path in church leadership should be viewed with great dignity. In the works of the church father John Chrysostom known as the Six Books of the Priesthood, he urges pastors to think upon how the devil wages war on the human soul. The immediate and eternal impact of the harm of the evil one on the soul is incalculable, making national wars pale in comparison.
How much value does a soul have to you? If you are in church leadership, how do you demonstrate the worth of another human being?
Clearly Jesus valued the souls of people highly. He knew that men and women were made in the very image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Jesus said gaining the whole world was not enough profit if it meant losing one’s soul in the process (Matt. 16:26). Ultimately, Christ shed His blood to save our souls as well as our bodies from death. Souls are inestimable in their price. With the soul we believe, experience, and commune with God.
Recently I have been pondering the value of a soul, and how we should be ever so protective of them, as I have listened to Rachael Denhollander read her book What Is a Girl Worth? on Audible. (See Kyle Borg’s commendation here and Tim Challies’ review here.) Hearing her tell her own story of how a college student abused her in church as a seven year old, and then how Dr. Larry Nassar insidiously sexually assaulted her as an innocent teenager in an examination room (all the while talking to her mother who was there in the room with his body shielding the abuse), is horrific enough.