From time immemorial, human beings have been driven by relentless efforts to subdue or conquer their environment. These efforts have covered a wide number of areas ranging principally from agriculture, medicine, and various other fields, as the need arose. All major technological and industrial exploits over the last century and more recently are rooted in this quest for improved living conditions.
It goes without saying, however, that the 21st Century can be labelled, without being presumptuous, as the one with the greatest strides in technological prowess. No other generation has had access to the means of communication more than the present one. More data is released every day than ever before. Having access to them has also been made easier with social media networks such as YouTube which is undoubtedly becoming the new all-encompassing encyclopedia of this era.
The greatest challenge with all this vast amount of information is less its availability than the proper use thereof . Many are gradually coming to terms with the fact knowledge is no longer power but a means to power. It is no longer enough to have every piece of information one needs at the split of a second, but the main issue now is whether it will be used in a way that doesn’t affect one’s integrity while disrupting another person’s rights. Another challenge, and not the least, with this vast amount of data is how to organize it methodically to meet our goals efficiently. It is very possible to be confused and lost when there’s too much information on a topic. This can lead us to use what we know ineffectively or even cause us to affect other people’s rights negatively. This is usually the case when there are no laws governing the proper handling of this information.
As the quest to conquer and subdue our surrounding circumstances increases, so is the growing interest in understanding the laws of the mind. Social sciences have always been a major subject of academic research and intellectual publications. That notwithstanding, there has never been, in history, a greater display of interests expressed with regards to knowing and understanding human beings. It seems as if the more technology tries to take over, the more complex we discover how human beings are wired spiritually, psychologically and biologically. Who are we? How do we process information? These few questions, among many others, are gradually becoming the focus of research stemming from the need to equip and empower people with efficient methods of knowledge acquisition and dissemination. It is no longer enough to have information. The school system has excelled in that. We need a system of organizing information with effective and targeted purposes.
There is a greater concern to teach and demonstrate how one can use knowledge skillfully to improve his or her living conditions. Every student is concerned about earning a living thanks to their credentials upon completing their training. As obvious as that may be, there is however, another sad fact, which is that the school system does not equip people on how to find their purposes in life. It focuses on training that is geared towards the expectation of jobs after school instead of empowering the student to find the reason God gave them life. When one’s calling is found, earning a living by creating a source of income around it provides a greater sense of a mission accomplished than doing a job one deeply knows he or she is not made for. This implies an understanding of who we are, how we are wired, in a nutshell what man is made of.
Mankind, a tripartite creation.
Let us consider 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Here we are given a fundamental clue with regards to the nature of human beings. We are told that there is an order in which the God of peace intends to sanctify us, starting from the spirit, then the soul and finally the body. We are therefore primarily spiritual before being physical. There have been some confusions between the spirit and the soul in many instances, but the Bible shows us clearly that the spirit and the soul are distinct. Many other verses in the Bible agree with this distinction, among which Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow.”
Here we see a clear demarcation between the soul and the spirit in the dividing work of the word of God which enables us to perceive the difference between these two entities because their activities can sometimes be confused. This is usually the case when one’s action draws its source from the soul and yet the very same action is given a spiritual credential which it does not deserve.
This can be the case with singing, preaching the gospel or even giving to the needy. Although such activities may appear godly, they sometimes fall of short of being inspired by the Spirit of God. John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. We therefore understand from this verse that the spirit of man can only receive life from the Spirit of God and to this effect, stands out exclusively to be the only organ with which one can receive life and empowerment from God. John 4:24 follows suit as we Jesus telling the Samaritan woman that “God is Spirit and those who worship(fellowship/contact/serve) Him with worship Him in spirit (their own spirit) and in truth (God’s Truth which is His word).
Our spirit is from these verses, the only organ which is “mandated” to contact God. Because our spirit is equipped with the capacity to contact God, it must without the shadow of doubt be the only organ which is enabled to receive light from the creator and revelation with regards to our purpose here on earth and the way to carry out our God given assignment. Without a proper understanding of what the spirit of man is, its functions and faculties, it will be irrelevant to try to equip such a person with skills and load them with information that will only inflate their ego, frustrate them with boring and unsatisfying activities which are done out of self-preservation and not because one finds any fulfillment whatsoever in doing them. In order to have a better understanding of who we are, I have felt compelled to expound on each aspect of the tripartite man one after the other starting from the human spirit.