Different people have different issues they struggle with. Some of these things arise from our innate personality. Others arise from how we were raise, trained or taught. For me one of my biggest challenges is self care. This is a common problem for women particularly for women like me who find satisfaction, fulfillment and purpose in caring for others. Similarly the Christian Faith encourages people to be self sacrificial. In many ways my faith has encouraged me to NOT practice good self care. But I do not think this God’s design, intention or purpose for me or anyone else.
I would like to first define what I mean by self care. What is self care? I like to define self care as the actions we take to work on our own personal physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being. Self care means you take the time for your own self so that you can work on these areas of your life. When we exercise good self care we help prevent many problems with our own health, relationships and work life. People are more able to accomplish the tasks necessary in life when they are practicing good self care. In the long run people will accomplish more by taking the time for self. We are better spouses, parents, employees, etc when we are taking care of ourselves.
Some might say this sounds selfish. Some might say that Christians are supposed to be sacrificing self. I believe these false beliefs for even Jesus exercised self care. Jesus would often withdraw from his ministry in order to spend time with his small group of disciplines. He would often withdraw from even his disciples to spend time with his Heavenly Father. Jesus set boundaries with people. If even Jesus exercised self care how much more do we as sinners need to take the time to exercise self care.
We should never neglect ourselves at the expense our of ministry, family or work because in the long run it will never pay off. Rather taking the time to focus on yourself is one of the greatest investments you can make. That being said there is a difference between exercising healthy self care and becoming completely self absorbed. We as Christians shouldn’t be self absorbed. May God show us the difference and give us wisdom each day so that we know the difference.