Far too frequently we see news stories about parents who neglect their children. It’s hard to look at the pictures of little faces that are suffering because those who should love them do not. In some of those cases there are probably some psychological disorders contributing to the problem. But in other cases it may be nothing more than what Paul described in Ephesians 4:19 as being “callous” (ESV) or “passed feeling” (NKJV). Some have traveled so far from God and his righteousness that their consciences having been seared (1 Tim. 4:2). Bluntly stated, some people just don’t care.
Another tragedy that happens far too often is when people stop caring about their own souls. There is no human possession more valuable than one’s own soul (Mark 8:36-37). Yet many have become so callous and past feeling that they sin “against their own souls” (Num. 16:38) through neglect and abuse. I often ask the same question about them that I do of those who abuse children: how can you not care?
Consider these basic characteristics of a person who cares.
If you care, you feed. Parents who care about their children want them to have sufficient food to eat. In a similar way, the person who cares about his own soul will feed it proper food. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2). As we mature in the faith, we should consume the “meat” of the word in addition to the milk (Heb. 5:13-14). Do you care enough to read and study the Bible each day? Do you care enough to attend Bible classes? Do you care enough to be faithful in your worship attendance?
If you care, you protect. Loving parents will protect their children from harm. They will put up safeguards in the home. They will watch them closely in public places. But what about your own soul? Do you care enough to protect it from the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21)? Do you protect your soul from the worldly influences that often come through television and movies? Do you protect it from internet pornography? If you care, you protect.
The danger of neglecting our souls is that if we neglect them long enough, we might never be able to rescue them (Heb. 6:4-6). Examine your life and habits. Do you care? Really?