Can I Have a Flourishing Soul? With Dominic Done [Episode 217]

Flourishing Soul Dominic Done

According to recent polls, 65% of Americans feel like the last few years has spun them into an identity crisis, 68% feel defeated, 61% feel alone, and 48% feel hopeless. How can our souls flourish in the midst of those statistics?

Well, today on the 4:13 Podcast, author, speaker, pastor, and theologian, Dominic Done, will reveal seven gifts God has provided for the health of your soul. He’ll cast a much-needed vision of hope, showing us who God says we already are, no matter how we may feel.

As we talked about Dominic’s book, Your Longing Has a Name: Come Alive to the Story You Were Made For, some of the things he shared really spoke to my heart. For instance, he said:

Flourishing is not about striving to become something we are not. Rather, it is about living from who God says we are.

Isn’t that encouraging? It was for me! I loved this conversation and so will you, so let’s get to it.

But first, one quick thing…

Dominic mentioned how the world defines “living the good life,” which can look very different from the way God calls us to live. I recently did a study on what it really is to live the good life, and what I learned just may surprise you. Watch the video at this link, and you’ll see what I mean.

Okay, sister, let’s head on over to the podcast. It’s time to find purpose, grow in self-awareness, and move forward in your relationship with God, so let the flourishing begin!

Meet Dominic

Dominic Done is the founder of Pursuing Faith and author of When Faith Fails. With a master’s in theology from the University of Oxford, he has served as a pastor in Portland, Oregon; North Carolina, and Hawaii. Dominic has also taught English for companies in Europe, lectured in theology and history at various Christian colleges, worked as a radio DJ, and lived as a missionary in Mexico and Vanuatu—which is near Fiji and the Solomon Islands, in case you’re wondering. He and his wife, Elyssa, have a daughter, Amelia, and a fuzzy Goldendoodle, Bella.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Have a Flourishing Soul? With Dominic Done [Episode 217]

Dominic Done: And what the Bible tells us is that if our soul is flourishing, then nothing we go through can break us or destroy us. But if our soul is languishing, then nothing we go through can heal us. The health of our soul shapes the outcome of your life. You know, Jesus said, "What good does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?" Our soul is a gift from God that is to be tended and cared for well.

Jennifer Rothschild: According to recent polls, 65% of Americans feel like the last few years has spun them into an identity crisis. 68% feel defeated, 61% feel alone, and 48% feel hopeless. So how in the world can our souls flourish in the midst of those kind of statistics in such unsettled times? Well, on the 4:13 today, author, speaker, pastor, and theologian Dominic Done is going to reveal seven gifts that God has provided for the health of your soul. He's going to cast a much-needed vision of hope, showing us who God says we already are, no matter how we may feel. That's the good news. So it's time to find purpose, grow in self-awareness, and move forward in your relationship with God. Let the flourishing begin.

K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength.

Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hello, friends. We're glad you're here. Me and K.C. Wright sitting here in the podcast closet. Two friends, one topic --

K.C. Wright: Zero stress.

Jennifer Rothschild: Not one bit right here. And listen, when you get to hear from Dominic Done today, if you had any stress, it's going to fall off you like a bad mood. It is good stuff today.

And so we just want you to know that we're glad you're here. If you have not left us a review, I'm going to ask you right up front, could you please do that? Leave us a rating and a review on the podcast platform where you listen, because it really helps spread the word about great conversations like the one we're having today with Dominic Done. And I'm just going to say wow, it's such a good topic. K.C. and I are not going to chitchat about nothing because we need to hear what Dominic Done has to say. It's such a good conversation.

So, K.C., let's intro our friend.

K.C. Wright: Dominic Done is the founder of Pursuing Faith and the author of "Where Faith Falls." With a master's in theology from the University of Oxford, he has served as a pastor in Portland, Oregon; North Carolina; and Hawaii. God, call me to Hawaii. Here am I, Lord, send me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Send me.

K.C. Wright: Dominic has also taught English for companies in Europe, lectured in theology and history at various Christian colleges, worked as a radio D.J., and lived as a missionary serving overseas. He and his wife, Elyssa, have a daughter Amelia and a fuzzy Goldendoodle named Bella.

Now settle in for this great conversation on Dominic's latest book, "Your Longing Has A Name."

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, Dominic, in your book you cover the seven virtues for a flourishing soul. Which I think is fascinating, and I can't wait to unpack this. But I think we need to start first with a definition. Like, what is your definition of a soul? Let's start there.

Dominic Done: That is a really good question. Because if you were to go out on the streets and just ask the average person, "What is a soul?" you'd probably get something along the lines of, well, the soul is an immaterial, invisible part of you that keeps living when your physical body dies. If you've seen that Pixar film that came out a year ago -- it's actually called "Soul" -- that's how it depicts soul, right? You have these invisible digital neon lines, or whatever, that escape physical bodies. Which, by the way, that's a very platonic idea, comes from ancient philosophy. Or you think of that prayer, you know, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take," which -- it's kind of a sad prayer to pray over your kids, but they used to do that at night in the Victorian era.

But, yeah, most people think of soul in terms of, you know, it's hard to quantify, it's immaterial. It exists in some sense, but we really don't know how to care for it. And what I do in arguing in the book is saying, hey, your soul actually matters, and it's a big part of the Christian story, it's a big part of the Bible. In fact, in the Old Testament alone, the word "soul" is found over 700 times. And it doesn't just refer to the immaterial, invisible part of you; your soul is really the entirety of what makes you you. The Hebrew word is "nephesh," and it essentially means all of you, the deepest part of you.

And what the Bible tells us is that if our soul is flourishing, then nothing we go through can break us or destroy us. But if our soul is languishing, then nothing we go through can heal us. The health of our soul shapes the outcome of your life. You know, Jesus said, "What good does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul?" Our soul is a gift from God that is to be tended and cared for well.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that definition, Dominic. And I love too the biblical grounding that you just gave it, because it helps us understand that so much more clearly.

You also mentioned another word in there that I want to make sure we understand the definition of before we go through these seven virtues in order to flourish -- for our souls to flourish, and that is the word "flourish." What does it mean for your soul to flourish?

Dominic Done: Yeah, that's a really important question, too. Because, you know, again, culture has definitions for that word that captures, I think, part of it, but again, the Bible goes so much deeper. Culture would define "flourishing" as living the good life or achievements, material success. A business, for example, would be said to be flourishing if it is raking in a ton of profits, or a social media account is flourishing if it has a lot of engagement. Culture says you can flourish if everything is going your way.

And again this goes back to the Greek philosophers. Aristotle, he used this word "eudaimonia," which essentially means "the good life." So if you have a new house or a new spouse, or whatever that culture says you need to be happy, you know, that's how you obtain flourishing.

And yet when the Bible talks about flourishing, it's not talking about how much you have, it's talking about the kind of person you are. And on a deeper level, flourishing is not just keeping you from pain; rather, it's about experiencing the presence of God in the midst of pain. And that is why when you see this word "flourishing" -- which by the way, it pops up all over the Bible through a number of beautiful words. Jesus, in fact, used the word "flourishing" on the Sermon on the Mount when he said, "Blessed are the poor. Blessed are those who mourn." The word "blessed," it's a word "macarius" in the Greek language, and it literally is translated as "flourishing."

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Dominic Done: So Jesus is pronouncing flourishing over those who mourn, over the meek, over the persecuted, which is miles away from what culture calls the good life. So true flourishing isn't escaping life's heartache, it's encountering God's healing in the midst of heartache.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, that's beautiful. Because even just the word "flourishing," it does -- I mean, just the beauty of the word itself, it does sound like something that is blossoming and growing, not like it's a dead-end event. But it's a constantly in motion, beautiful experience. And I think you've just set us up well, Dominic. Okay? So I want this. I know our listeners want this. We want our soul, the essence of who we are, our very whole being, to have that kind of flourishing.

Okay. So in your book, I know you use the seven virtues as a way to experience this flourishing. So let's kind of unpack those. I really do want us to go through all of them, but let's start at least with the first three virtues that you mention in the book. And I know you'll unpack how they're based on Scripture. So what are they, and how do they help us flourish?

Dominic Done: Absolutely. So this is what I love about the Bible, is that it not only casts vision for what the flourishing life is, Jesus -- you know, he talked about this when he said, "If you come to me, believe in me out of your innermost being" -- right? -- "your soul will gush forth torrents of living water." Or think of the tree in Psalm 1 that brings its fruit in its season. So we have these beautiful pictures and images of what flourishing is, but the Bible also gives us practical ways that we can move towards it. So it's not just some high-level 30,000-foot ideology or philosophical concept, but rather God meets us in the dust and dirt of life and says here are some ways that you can actually do this.

And what I do in the book is -- in the first few chapters, I lay out this vision. And then in 2 Peter 1, which I start in Chapter 3, I unpack, okay, here is a roadmap that God has given us towards the flourishing life. And you're right, they are virtues. But I think it's even deeper than simply a virtue. These are gifts that are given us through the Holy Spirit. It's something that we're not striving to earn, but rather we receive because we're loved. And what Peter says in 2 Peter 1-- and by the way, he gives this whole vision for the flourishing life in that chapter. And right in the middle of it he says, "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.

Now, each of these, you're right, we could take a whole podcast to talk about.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my goodness.

Dominic Done: But I think this first one is so key, it's so vital. The word "goodness" is "arete" in the original language, in the Greek. And the way the Greeks understood arete was, again, very outward focused, when things were going well in life. But what the Bible does when it uses this word is it points us to the source of goodness, which is God. So you think, for example, of Psalm 73:1, "Truly God is good." Or in Exodus where God shows Moses his glory and he says, "I will cause my goodness to pass in front of you."

And so what Peter is arguing for -- and I lay it out in the chapter called "Breathe Again" -- is he's inviting us for our soul to flourish into the presence of God, because that's where flourishing begins. We were made to live in radical intimacy with God, and it's in his presence that our souls can breathe again.

You know, in Chapter 1, I talk about how right now many of our souls are languishing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, yeah.

Dominic Done: The things we've gone through the last couple of years, the personal grief that many of us have encountered, the political struggles, financial struggles, and it just goes on and on. Our souls are languishing. We're gasping for air. And yet God's invitation to us is, hey, come to me when you're weary and tired. I'll give you rest for your soul. And you know what's so cool is the very first mention of the word "flourish" in the Bible and the very first mention of "soul" in the Bible, it's in the same verse. It's Genesis 2:7 where God creates Adam and Eve. And it says he breathed into them the breath of life and they became a living soul.

And the word "living" is translated "flourishing." It actually is a word picture in the original language, as you mentioned, Jennifer, of a flower that's blossoming with beauty and color and vibrancy. So their souls came alive. How? Through the breath of God, the presence of God, intimacy with God, the spirit of God. And this is what Peter is describing as goodness.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's a beautiful picture, too, Dominic. I keep thinking of the psalm that in God's presence is fullness of joy. It's like you cannot disconnect your soul from the presence of God and experience any real true, eternal, soul depth goodness. You just can't. God is good, his essence is, and, therefore, in his presence we experience that. That's beautiful.

All right. Give me the second virtue there in 2 Peter. Or was it 1 Peter?

Dominic Done: 2 Peter 1, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: 2 Peter, okay. Yeah.

Dominic Done: Yeah. So there he talks about knowledge. But the word "knowledge" there is much more than just simply acquiring information. It literally means to receive or grasp or participate. Peter is talking about the kind of knowledge that looks a whole lot more like wisdom. It's awareness that leads to action.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay.

Dominic Done: I think of C.S. Lewis when he noted the difference between intellectual assent and relational trust. Right? There's a difference there. And so Peter is really pushing us into a place where we're in intimacy with God, our lives are rooted in God, we're investing time in prayer. But it's from that posture that we not only learn who God is, that God is good; but here's the fascinating thing: we also learn who we are. Learning is the outgrowth of coming to him. And so what I do in that chapter is I talk about, okay, what are the kinds of knowledge that God invites us into? And I think the most baseline simple opportunity for us to grow in knowledge is through His Word. His Word gives us understanding, as 2 Timothy 2:7 says.

But then there's another form of knowledge that he gives to us through coming to him, and that is knowledge about ourself. God begins to draw things to the surface the closer we get to him. He begins to show us things in our own soul that maybe we need to rethink or reevaluate. Or questions will naturally arise. Am I doing what God has told me to do? Am I thriving spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically? Am I struggling? Are there wounds in my life that need healing? Are there issues that are unresolved or actively preventing my flourishing? And so from that place of self-awareness that God reveals to us through his spirit, our soul actually has an opportunity to heal. Because, you know, sin's greatest strength is secrecy. And it's not until we drag those broken areas into our life that redemption is possible.

Jennifer Rothschild: Dominic, I am loving this so much, because what I hear you saying is such a reminder to me that often we settle for information. And we're satisfied by lesser things when we do that. When that's not true knowledge -- it reminds me -- I don't remember -- maybe it's Isaiah 6 when Isaiah's in the temple. You remember that scene? And he says, "I have seen the Lord." It begins with, like, "Woe is me. I am undone."

Dominic Done: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right?

Dominic Done: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: "For I have seen the Lord." And now he recognizes, I'm a man of unclean lips, I'm undone. It's like this glorious undone of self-revelation that comes when we really know God, when we grow in that knowledge of wisdom that comes from the Word and the presence of the Lord. May we never settle for less.

Okay, good stuff. Get to the third one. I love this.

Dominic Done: Okay. The third one to me is so fascinating because he talks about their adding to our faith self-control.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, never mind, I don't want to hear about it.

Dominic Done: I know.

Jennifer Rothschild: Just kidding.

Dominic Done: This one's challenging because --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right?

Dominic Done: I call it confronting our shadow side, because essentially what Peter is doing is saying, okay -- and this builds upon the former point of adding to our faith knowledge, knowledge of the word, knowledge about ourself.

Then the next thing which we're adding -- so these are progressive steps building upon one another. He says you're adding to your faith self-control. God's revealed these parts of your life that need to change, that are malformed, and he's now inviting us into wholeness. And this is where self-control comes in. Because typically what you hear in church circles is, Practice self-control, and the way you do it is -- you know, you've got to axe, destroy, flush, burn whatever it is that's causing you to stumble.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Dominic Done: And essentially, it's kind of a gospel of just repression. And I get that. Like, obviously we're denying ourself, we're dying to ourself.

But the Bible calls us into something deeper than just repression. He calls us into redemption. And this is why I like this metaphor of a shadow. Because when I step outside -- it's a beautiful day here in Southern California and it's sunny. When I step outside today and I see my shadow on the ground, that shadow points to a substance, right? Every shadow in our life points to a substance. And when there are things that the Spirit of God illuminates in our hearts saying this is an area you need to confess, this is something that you need to address, a deep question that the Spirit will ask us is, okay, what are those things in my life pointing to? What do they say about us? Why am I drawn to that? What is it about my past or my story that makes me vulnerable to that? And this, of course, is a really, really challenging thing to do as we get to know our shadows in a sense, but it's also where healing can happen.

You know what's fascinating is for many, many years, the rabbis, they believed that every soul had two different sides to it. They called it the yetzer ha-ra and the yetzer ha-tov. "Ha-ra" means bad and "tov" means good. So they said, okay, you have these two sides to you. But what's fascinating is they actually believed the yetzer ha-ra was actually an energy or a force that could be redeemed for good in our life.

Now, what they meant by that was -- so say, for example, the virtue of creativity. Well, creativity gone bad turns into self-interest. C.S. Lewis talks about this. Or when you think about wisdom towards wise financial decisions, well, when that virtue goes bad, it can turn towards greed. In other words, every virtue invites -- they kind of play on each other. As Lewis said, every virtue is a vice redeemed, and vice versa, every vice is a virtue gone bad. And what God calls us to is, okay, those areas in our life that are broken, the wounds from our past, the struggles we've had, the mistakes that we've made, God doesn't want to just sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist; but rather what he wants to do is to use our woundedness for not only our healing, but for the healing of the world. That's resurrection, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Dominic Done: Every part of our story, the victory and defeat, the laughter and horror, the joys and sorrow, is teeming with possibility. Jesus redeems all of it. So when I look at self-control, it's not just about repressing our desires, but redirecting them to Jesus-centered wholeness.

Jennifer Rothschild: And as you mentioned when you began to explain self-control, it is challenging, which makes me understand even more why Peter, then, as he continues this list, would move to perseverance. Because a lot of people would want to quit at that point, you know?

Dominic Done: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So why don't you talk through -- I think there's four more virtues in this passage. So let's go to perseverance next.

Dominic Done: Okay. Yeah. So the word "perseverance" actually comes from this Latin word "per," which means through, and "severus," which means severe. So essentially, it's the capacity in your soul to continue even when everything in you wants to stop. And I think Peter mentions it right in the middle of this list of virtues, because he knows that the process of soul flourishing, it can be arduous at times, it can be challenging at times. Cultivating wholeness, it takes courage and fortitude. The Bible says it looks a lot like crucifixion, right? If you want to be my disciple, deny yourself and take up your cross. But as we persevere, on the other side of that is life and beauty.

So right in the middle of this list, Peter gives us this invitation, hey, keep going. Don't give up. And again, if ever there's a word we need to hear right now, it's that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen. Yes.

Dominic Done: The New York Times, a few months ago they put out an article -- which has since turned into a TED Talk -- and they said that the ethos of this age in which we live, kind of the emotional state of this moment, is languishing. And languishing simply means lostness or homelessness. It's a lot like that German word "unheimlich." Or as Heidegger talked about -- he was a philosopher -- kind of the lostness or homelessness of the soul. And you look around right now, that's where people are at. They feel lost; they feel homeless spiritually, politically, relationally; lonely. Their souls are languishing. And Peter invites us, when we're in that space, hey, we come to the presence of God, we're adding to our faith knowledge, we're practicing self-control. And right when you want to give up, keep going. Don't give up because God is going to meet you in that space.

And so what I do in that chapter is talk through some very practical steps that we can do that, because I think this is one of the hardest virtues to practice. But there are some integral ways. Discipline, which is the small trajectories that we set forth in our life through just small habits, small decisions. I talk about the importance of rest, how our soul needs Sabbath, and listening to the right voices, because the voices that we choose to listen to will affect and shape who and what we become.

Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't that the truth? And what I also find interesting about how you explained the word basically through severe, it is getting through the severe, is -- I think sometimes we expect that things should not be severe, that things should not be difficult. And I think that accepting that, recognizing that reality that often there are going to be difficult, hard things, just choosing to not avoid them or explain them away, but just to move forward through them, it does develop, I believe -- it helps to contribute to this next virtue, which is godliness.

Dominic Done: That's right. Absolutely. Yeah. Because how we think about these things matters. Peter uses the word "godliness," which -- don't have time to get into all of it today, but godliness from a biblical perspective actually speaks of the health of our thought life.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, really?

Dominic Done: Cultivating patterns of holiness and integrity. One theologian, he defined "godliness" as a Godward attitude. It's a mindset that endeavors to please him through our every thought. And to me that's a really fascinating juxtaposition, because, again, 2,000 years ago when they used the word "godliness," it was used in many religious circles, in Greek philosophy and Greek schools of thought. And the way they defined it was all outward. Someone was called godly if they were switching the bells or making the sacrifices or chanting the mantras. It was all about public appearance.

But the first followers of Jesus, they pushed it far deeper than that, and they said actually godliness begins within. Godliness begins with how we're choosing to think, the things we're choosing to dwell on. Godliness is more about the you that no one sees, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Dominic Done: Or as Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."

And so what I do in that chapter -- and to me it's so fascinating, you think about the life of the mind, the health of the mind. We talked through what science has to say, what Scripture has to say. In many ways, science is catching up to how Scripture understands the importance of our thought life. Paul said that we're to take every thought captive to obedience in Christ. You know, just like a river finds the path of least resistance, the flow of our life inevitably rushes towards our most persistent thoughts. So how do we make a life of thinking that's healthy, that's intentional? How do we take our thoughts captive? Those are the questions I ask in that chapter.

Jennifer Rothschild: And we often don't think of godliness as that, as our thought life. So I can't wait for our readers to explore your book. I can tell how life giving that it is, Dominic.

So let's head to these last two, which are very interesting to me because they seem similar. So I'd love for you to differentiate mutual affection and love.

Dominic Done: Yes. Okay, you're right, there is some similarity. But this one, mutual affection, I think is absolutely vital. Mutual affection, the word there simply means friendship. And a recent stat came out that said 67% of Americans are lonely. And there's all kinds of reasons for that. There's a lot of irony, too, in that stat, because in a moment where we're all connected via social media and texting and typing and swiping and all of that kind of stuff --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, yes.

Dominic Done: -- most Americans are saying, actually, I don't have any close friends. And the stats on this, the stories on this -- and as we hear this, we all know these aren't just stats. These are people in our life who are struggling.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Dominic Done: And Peter, what he does is he says, hey, you want your soul to thrive, to flourish like that beautiful flower that's blooming and blossoming? What you need in your life are true friends, because their affection brings a vulnerability and depth that builds your faith, bolsters your courage, breaks your fear like a mirror. Friends allow you to see things about yourself you wouldn't ordinarily see on your own. They have this intrinsic agility to draw things out of us that we didn't even know were there.

In fact -- here's what's fascinating, is that in the old English, the word for friend, it's this word "Kith," which means knowledge communicated. So it's not merely the knowledge we reveal about ourselves that makes friendship thrive, it's the knowledge that friends reveal to us.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Dominic Done: Friends bring an inner wholeness, I think, that nothing else can.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I was thinking, when you said it, of my friend Paula. I remember recently she was doing something from work and she said -- some kind of goal thing, and she said, "Could you please tell me what I'm good at and what I like." She said, "Because I want to know what you see," because I know her so well. And, of course, I brought out things that she wasn't as comfortable with or confident about. We need that from each other, Dominic. We so do. And it does bring out a sense of safety to be able to flourish.

Love, how then is love? If mutual affection seems centered on friendships, then how does love play into this?

Dominic Done: Yeah. Oh, I love this point. And I love that Peter ends with it. Because when the Bible talks about flourishing -- again, this is so counterintuitive to culture's definition of flourishing. Culture says flourishing is about you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Dominic Done: You be you, and it's all about making you healthy, and that's great. But in the Bible, flourishing is not just for our own sake; it's for the sake of others. You know, one theologian, creation theologian named Miroslav Volf, he said, "Theology is not about just understanding the world; it's about mending the world."

And so what Peter does is he pushes us to this place of, okay, your soul is now flourishing. The point of that, the purpose of that is not to just, yay, I'm flourishing, this is great; but rather, how can I pour the love of God into a world that is desperate and broken and hurting?

You know, it's interesting in Psalm 23, which again talks about the flourishing of the soul, David, he describes his own soul being restored by God. And then there's that beautiful line where he says, "My cup overflows." That's what this virtue is about, it's the overflowing cup. It's the poured-out life. It's taking what God has poured into us and pouring it into others. "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven," as Jesus said. So love is about the flourishing of the world.

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow. So healthy. So healthy. And I can see how the cyclical -- though they build upon each other, I can also see the cyclical aspect of this. Because if you really are loving overflowing, then you are overflowing with that goodness, with that knowledge, with that self-control that you're able to pass on to and invest in others.

But, you know, Dominic, as you talked through seven of these virtues -- for lack of a better word -- in 2 Peter, there's also seven deadly sins in the Bible, right?

Dominic Done: That's right. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: It's interesting. And we don't like to talk about those very often. We want to hide those, we want to fight those in the shadows. You already mentioned a little bit of our shadow self when it comes to self-control, how that reveals that. So why is it important to deal with these hard things? Why is it important to understand our shadow side?

Dominic Done: That is such a deep question, actually. Because, you're right, there are these seven virtues: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. But what's interesting is in the early church, they began to develop this idea of the seven deadly sins. And, you know, each one of these comes from Scripture, we're warned in Scripture, and they're greed and sloth and gluttony and envy and wrath and lust. Here's the fascinating thing, is you can take that list of seven virtues that Peter gives us, and the seven deadly sins are the exact mirror opposite of it --

Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.

Dominic Done: -- and you can go through them point by point. Like, the opposite of self-control being gluttony; the opposite of perseverance being sloth; the opposite of mutual affection being anger. On and on it goes. The opposite of love being lust.

And in the 5th century, the Latin poet Prudentius, he actually wrote a poem describing a battle between the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. And he called this poem The Psychomachia, which literally means the battle of the spirits. Or I like this: soul war. Soul war.

Jennifer Rothschild: Isn't it?

Dominic Done: Because for hundreds of years, followers of Jesus have understood that life is a soul war. Every day is a soul war between sin and flourishing, between who we are and who God is calling us to be. And so the invitation today, you know, as we consider these things and listen to this, the invitation of the Spirit today is he's moving us towards greater wholeness in Jesus.

As Paul said in Galatians, he prayed, oh, that Jesus the Christ would be formed in you. Or the prayer of 3 John 1 that says, Beloved, how I pray that your soul would flourish." That's God's heart. And we have the option, the opportunity even right now, to decide what is today going to look like in the soul war that I'm in? Am I going to pursue the way of Jesus or pursue the way of self? But the way of Jesus always leads to greater flourishing.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, it does. So here would be my question, then, because that is so inspiring. So let's see if we can make it practical. For the listener right now who's saying, okay, I want all this, now what do I do when the podcast ends? How do I do this? So can you give us a couple of very practical ways to manage this shadow side? You kind of mentioned -- you know, the idea is not repression, it's redemption.

Dominic Done: Right. That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: But how do we deal with this in a very practical way? What are some practical steps?

Dominic Done: Yeah. Well, like we talked about, to be human is to experience duality. We have this war, this soul war that's happening. But I think we could just even pause and just begin to ask ourself some of the harder questions when it comes to the shadows that want to dominate us. We can ask what are these shadows? What do they say about us? What are our shadows trying to reveal?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. What do they point to, yeah.

Dominic Done: What are they pointing to? And in what ways can these shadows be redeemed?

And again, this pushes us back to that first virtue of simply spending time in the presence of God. We may just want to finish this podcast and put down the phone and go for a walk. Or if we're driving, we're pulling into work, just sit in our car for a couple of minutes and take a deep breath and say, okay, Lord, you breathed into Adam and Eve and their soul came alive; just through your Spirit breathe into me right now. Listen to what the Spirit might be saying. What is he stirring inside of you? Are there any fears that you need to acknowledge, or sin that you need to confess, or hope that you need to name? Taking time just to thank him and worship him for the love and acceptance that he's shown us. And name the places where we've seen his goodness in our life, but also name the places where our shadows are seeking to malform our soul.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, that's so practical. And I'm also mindful as you say that, sometimes we're looking for this quick formula. Here's your three steps and then you'll have a flourishing soul. Bing. And you're really reminding us that we are intricately connected with the Spirit of God. It begins, it ends, and it exists with his presence.

Dominic Done: That's right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So I appreciate that so very much. And we need to remind ourselves to feel comfortable with the ambiguity of that, because sometimes on our end it does feel that way, but that's where it's at.

All right, Dominic, I can tell you this, Brother, I could listen to you all day, and I'm so very anticipating going through your whole book. I know our listeners are too. But we're going to have to hit the last question.

Dominic Done: Okay.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, so here we go. You've talked so much about what indicates a flourishing soul and what it takes, what God has provided for us to experience a flourishing soul. And so I know there's some of us who are like, okay, I made the list, I'm going to hit it, and I'm going to wake up five minutes early and I'm going to start with -- you know, because we do that. So can you help us know the importance and the balance of grace and discipline while we're on this journey to a flourishing life.

Dominic Done: Yeah. I actually start the book that way, because, again, culture's understanding of flourishing, it can be very legalistic.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.

Dominic Done: You have to do these things, jump through these hoops and perform these practices or whatever. And, of course, I talk about discipline, the importance of that. But we don't start from that place of trying to earn God's favor, but rather accepting the fact that we are accepted. And when we fail, when we fall, when we mess up, when we're not doing what the Spirit of God calls us to, there is still acceptance, there is still grace. Because -- here's the beautiful thing. And I unpack this in the first chapter. And it's actually mind-blowing. God looks at us and he says you are already flourishing. In Romans 8, you are justified, you are glorified. Ephesians says you are seated with him in the Heavenly places. So that's how God sees you. Which tells me that flourishing, then, isn't striving to become something that we're not, but rather it's about living from who God says we are. Christ in you is stronger than what's broken in you. Flourishing is about being on earth what God says is already true about you in Heaven.

K.C. Wright: Okay, I see why you wanted to get right to that conversation. It was so powerful.

Jennifer Rothschild: So good.

K.C. Wright: So good. And it was really inviting when Dominic said flourishing is not about striving to become something we are not, rather it's about living from who God says we are. I love that. I feel so much hope about this conversation. I just know how it blessed our 4:13ers like it blessed me.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right? I know. And what a great taste we got of his book.

K.C. Wright: His book is called, by the way, "Your Longing Has A Name: Come Alive to the Story You Were Made For." And, of course, we'll have a link to it at the show notes now. Go to to get a copy of his book. Plus, you can review a complete transcript of this rich, beautiful conversation right there just for you.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And you probably need to review it -- I do -- because there was so much there. I mean, Dominic said so much. And that also gives you an opportunity to share the conversation. Somebody you love really needs to hear this today. And if this was meaningful to you, as I asked you earlier, please leave us a review on the podcast platform where you're listening right now, because it does really help spread the word that the 4:13 is the place to be.

K.C. Wright: Reaching one heart at a time --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: -- that's our goal. Well, our people, we love you, we mean it. Remember that you can flourish. You can be all God created you to be, because God's spirit lives in you, and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: Such a good stuff. You can hear he was a radio D.J., right?

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: That peaceful voice, he just sounds like --

K.C. Wright: I mean, listening to what he's already done in his life, I really hope Dominic gets a vision for his life and does something for the Kingdom.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Right? He needs a sense of purpose.

K.C. Wright: I mean, really, seriously, do something, Dominic, just do something.


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