Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Soul: True Identity

What is true identity?
In an article, written by Dr. Jim Manganiello, titled “The Importance of Soul”, he discusses how a person’s well-being and overall health is associated to a person’s connection with his soul, which he describes as our real or essential identity that lies beyond our self-image-based surface identity.  Essentially, he encapsulates the soul as being the root of our identity.    

Manganiello states that if we merely focus on the surface of life and what he calls as our “family-based conditioned self-image”, we limit ourselves to live and act in accord with that identity verses living in accord with our souls.  That disconnection with one’s soul is demonstrated through “neurotic achievement”.  Manganiello describes this as one’s actions of seeking security and satisfaction through money, power, or any other superficial means.  Ultimately, this display of disconnection will lead to more stress and anxiety that results in one being more vulnerable to health problems and early death. 
I believe that this is a valuable perspective and can be applied to Christian counseling. 
True Identity
Understanding that the “soul” or “true identity” of a person is defined in Christ, will help Christian counselors see past a person’s surface identity.  We will not be affective Christian counselors if we merely focus on changing a person’s “surface identity”.  Rather, in order to be affective Christian counselors, we must help people live in accord with their “true identity” that can only be found in Christ.  Anything else from that will only lead to false security and satisfaction. As Christian counselors, we are to guide our counselees to seek that security in Christ not in things of this world.          
Although we all have our identity in Christ, we were all given the freedom to choose to embrace it or to reject it.  If we so choose to reject it, instead of living freely, we will be bound to the limitations that we ourselves establish based on our surface identity. 
Living in accord with your identity in Christ will empower one to live with purpose, in certainty that his life has meaning because he was given a soul “your essential identity” that will persist beyond this world to be in union with God. 


  1. It is indeed important to incorporate both the immaterial and the material into counseling. When treating someone with an eating disorder for example, as counselors we are to go to the root of the problem which could be immaterial. We must view people as having more than a 'surface identity'. We must help our clients embrace their spiritual identity by teaching them to be in touch with their soul identity.

  2. Lorena,

    I really enjoyed your post! I think that it is very important as counselors, that we learn to distinguish between what is "surface identity" and true identity in Christ, which is "soul identity". Surface identity will not lead to ultimate satisfaction, while soul identity will help a client to recognize the love and security he has in Christ. Manganiello's theory integrates well with Biblical truth. Great job!

  3. Lorena,

    I do believe the mental and physical heath of a person is connected to the soul. AS Christians we must affirm our identity in Christ. We must teach our clients that they need to find their identity in Christ and not in society or things of this world which will fade away. I have come across some people in my life that have their trust in people and not in God and this leads to depression and many other mental problems. Christ is the only person who will not betray you! I am still learning how to establish my identity in Christ! Thank you Lorena for your post! Great post!

  4. This is a great post! This is great to use in counseling and to be sure that we are helping our clients with both the material and immaterial parts of their identity. We are better able to meet both of those needs as Christian counselors and can ensure a more complete health of a person.


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