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Ever notice that we, as humans, can be a little weird about self-care? We can feel guilty about it, or feel like it’s selfish or unnecessary. In particular with my walk with God, I can make the mistake of emphasizing self-denial, and minimizing self-care.
In my mind, God prefers me when I say “yes” to every request, pushing through any limitation. I can think that he doesn’t like it when I set limits. Or when I choose to take a break, or take time to strengthen or to heal.
Not that self-denial isn’t important – it’s key. Our lives center on God and not on self now.
But something that always amazes me about God is that he meets people where they are. He fills needs and has compassion. That compassion extends to you and me too, friends. It’s not for everyone except you.
So today, I’m sharing some verses that I feel show God’s heart towards us in the area of self-care. I hope it helps you feel less reservation about taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
It is important to note that self-care with God often draws us back to him. He is the one that brings true fulfillment and peace. If we’re trying to do it without him, full satisfaction will still be out of reach. But when we do find refreshment in him, we find refreshment. We end up in an even better place to be able to give.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV – I think this just reminds me to dwell in God, to have time with him and keep putting my confidence in him. That’s what revitalizes me and keeps me going.
1 Kings 19:1-8 – It’s actually a lot of scripture written out, so I encourage you to go back and read it for yourself. But in a nutshell, Elijah feels depression and loneliness. I love that the angel of the Lord tells Elijah, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (verse 7 NIV)
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” – Mark 6:31-32 NIV
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 NIV
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” – Matthew 15:32 NIV
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV – In context, this talks about sexual immorality. But I think it applies on an even greater level to our worth in God, that we are precious and hold great value. And we should take care of that precious thing.
“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:4 NIV – I think it takes work to cultivate that gentle and quiet spirit. Even the most peaceful women you know have to work at it! It comes from taking care of yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 NIV
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8 NIV
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3 John 1:2 NIV
Do you relate to feeling guilty about self-care? What sorts of things help you to renew your heart, mind, soul, and body?
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