1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
For a long time I didn’t spend much time at all looking after myself. I had no idea what physical and mental health was, and my spiritual health was far from my mind. After becoming a Christian I slowly started to realise how important self care is.
Over the years I have only met a small number of Christians who intentionally invest in their mental, physical and spiritual health. Instead there are many believers who focus more on what they look like or how much they can learn. Finding a balance can be a challenge and I totally get it, who has the time in all the busyness of our lives to really say no to things so we can say yes to getting better sleep, doing regular exercise or spending valuable time with God. Lets be honest, many of us want God to use us but what good are we if we are tired and burnt out?
You are the most important person in the world. That’s what the world system teaches us. Self care then is all about maximising pleasure and minimising pain, and the whole point of looking after ourselves is to benefit our own lives only. I would like to assert that the whole point of self care for Christians should be less about making life all comfy for us, and more about being available to God, our brothers and sisters in Christ and to the world around us.
So what’s the difference between self care for the world and self care for the Christian you ask? The Trinity! I remember a scene from a movie that I saw recently where the main character is keen to walk on water (he had done so with Jesus earlier). When he realises that his feet are getting wet he turns to Jesus who is standing near by smiling and says something like “it would be better to do it together don’t you think?” We are crazy to think we are good in our own strength.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing
If you have struggled with looking after yourself in the areas of mental, physical and spiritual health, or intentionally don’t make time for it, then thing must change. For now it may appear that it’s all working for you, but its not sustainable. Or if you are ticking boxes without God, you really have to ask yourself am I actually producing fruit?
I pray that this will encourage you to take self care more seriously, realise that the whole point of resting is not just for your benefit and that its all better when done with God.