His Own Soul, Prov 19:8

The word “soul” is often just a reference to a human being, a person, as in Gen 46:15, 18, 22, 25-27.  So, when the Bible refers to a man loving his own soul and doing good to his own soul, he loves himself.  This kind of love is not the self-love about which Paul warned us in 2 Tim 3:2.  This is a love and care for oneself that is healthy and appropriate because we are God’s people.  

Therefore, certain texts encourage you to be a man who loves and does good to his own soul.  A man who loves his own soul:

Gets wisdom and keeps understanding – Prov 19:8.  He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.  See the converse of this in Prov 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.  And also in Prov 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

Keeps the commandment – Prov 19:16.  He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.  This is true in Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  And 1 Pet 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, as well. 

Befriends excellent men – 1 Sam 18:1, 3, 20:17.  Jonathan loved David as his own soul.  David was an excellent choice for a friend.  Notice what one of Saul’s servants said about David’s character in 1 Sam 16:18.  A man who loves his own soul will befriend excellent men.  And he will love his wife, too.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself, Eph 5:28.

Extends mercy to others – Prov 11:17.  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.  Ps 18:25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. Extending mercy to others is beneficial to you.

Refuses adultery – Prov 6:32.  But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.  So, he won’t do this with a woman.  However, this is a common sin among men and women. Sadly, a very charismatic preacher who moved to Utah to help Mormons seeking the truth from the Bible ended up committing adultery with several women in the Bible study group.  A man determined to refuse adultery will be careful not commit adultery with his eyes, as well, Matt 5:28.  Because this is what often leads to the act.

Loses his life for Christ’s sake – Mark 8:34-38.  v.35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.  v.36, For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  A man that loves his own soul will trust Christ with his life more than he will trust himself with his life, even if he has to suffer.