Don’t forget to enter the ‘Travel Snacks Giveaway’ in my last post!
Man, this is a HOT topic in the blogging world, and I’ve been really divided as to how to approach it. I have struggled with the balance of self care and selfishness.
Jesus Christ calls me to lay down my life and follow Him, but too often I take that to the wrong place. I want to die for Christ Jesus, because He died for me. . . I want to LOVE Him, but that doesn’t mean self-destruction.
Following Jesus Christ is NOT self-torture. Christianity doesn’t mean misery, and if I’m miserable that means I’m misunderstanding something… I’m misunderstanding what the life of Christ really is.
John 11:25-26, ‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’
How could those words of life make me miserable?
Jesus Christ frees people from feeling like they must atone for their own sins by cutting or starving themselves. Jesus Christ frees people from the heavy burdens of the world, the heavy burdens to try and be moral, without being CHANGED by the radical, deep redemption of the Almighty God.
Hebrews 9:12, ‘and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.’
Jesus Christ frees. He doesn’t bind burdens heavy to bear like the Pharisees did.
Jesus Christ breaks the bonds of sin, the lordship of the devil.
He reconciles us to God, and life in God is not burdensome. To love God and follow HIs law out of love for Him, isn’t a drag. It’s truly so awesome, and I think I miss that sometimes when I take the idea of self care to be…
1 John 5:3, ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.’
A bad idea.
See, self-care for a Christian is not a bad idea, but I’m learning that I need to think of it in the right light, and that light is the light of Jesus Christ and HOW He cares for us, how our Heavenly Father counts the hairs on our heads and KNOWS us in a deep intimate way. (Psalm 139)
He EVEN gives us JOY unspeakable that comes in so many different ways.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul reminds the Corinthians that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:17-20, ‘But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’
I was bought with a price. Jesus Christ paid the price for my sins, so that means I don’t torture my body or try to make atonement for my sin by destroying myself.
So what are the principles of self care that I’ve learned? I’m definitely NOT an expert, but God, by His grace is teaching me so much about how it is OKAY and WONDERFUL to take care of my body as the blood bought, amazing creation of God Almighty, made in His own image, and redeemed for His glory.
- Nourish your body, mind, and soul. God gives life, and He provides that food, those books, and most of all His Holy and precious Word to nourish the deep thirstiness of my soul. In Matthew 5 Jesus says, ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.’ He ENCOURAGES thirstiness and hunger after His righteousness, and He will fill us. It is so important for me to get time to commune, to come before the throne of God in repentance, and bare my heart and soul and confess my sin, knowing that His blood DOES and ALREADY has cleansed me and made me white as snow.
- When your body is tired. SLEEP. Admit that you aren’t ‘infinite’ in your energy and that GOD carries the world, that God is in everywhere beholding the evil and the good, that God cares for the sparrows, and He will care for you. He will give His beloved sleep. Read ALL His promises, and go to bed with 0% anxiety knowing that the weight of the world is ON Him, and that He never wearies or tires, and that He is accomplishing His purpose even when I am sleeping. (Isaiah 40)
- YOU can skip a workout. Paul says that ‘Bodily exercise profits little but godliness with contentment is great gain.’ He’s not saying that bodily exercise is wrong, but it only provides a sort of temporary satisfaction… Yet God’s love and blessing and favor is such great gain, and sometimes just sitting on the couch and soaking in the truth of ALL His goodness and mercy is the best way to enjoy an afternoon without a workout.
- YOU can use a workout to go spend time with God the Father and commune with Him. That is why Jesus Christ came, so we could have that living and walking relationship with the living God and commune with Him as our rock and refuge in every storm and mountain of life. I have had so many awesome runs of just praying and thinking and thanking the Lord that have passed by SO quickly, because I’m just so lost in all the wonder of what God does and is doing.
- You CAN eat cookies. God made sugar and butter. I don’t think I can say this enough. What God made is good… Sometimes, men make standards that ‘sugar is bad’ or ‘sugar is the problem’ but God made it. God can bless it to your body, and sometimes a cookie can be one of the most simple reminders of God’s goodness and care and compassion.
- You can eat cereal at midnight. …. :o) It’s so easy to make food rules that God doesn’t make, and for so many years I made those, and I was hyper-focused on those instead of remembering that God sent Jesus to make me holy, not to make me par annoyed about eating cookies. My problem was a heart problem, not a midnight cereal snack.
- You can just sit and do nothing… It’s never a good idea if my mind is idle, but simply just sitting and meditating on the goodness of God to the children of men. Now that is amazing, and it’s often one of the most refreshing things to do on a Sunday night or any night of the week for that matter.
So, I could go on and on, but here is the BIG THING:
Take care of your body. Take care of your soul. Take care of your spirit and mind. God made them. They are His creation, and we must not destroy His creation for any reason. It’s not selfish. It’s a posture of worship and thankfulness to God for the wonders He has worked in forming us in our mother’s wombs and making us, and by His grace redeeming souls day by day.
Do you struggle with justifying self care?
What do you think is the balance between self care and selfishness?
How do you care for your body when you are tired?
Linking up with Julia for another one of the wonderful ‘Mental Health Monday’ link-ups!