I am not prone to self-sacrifice, but to whole-heartedly looking for ways to embrace self-care. Being a people pleaser, it is easy to trick myself into thinking I am giving myself up as a sacrifice for others when instead, I am just using them to boost my own appearance. My days, and I would guess your days too, are very self-focused.
There are days when I’m weary, when I’m in need of rest. And we serve a God who provides rest for the weary, but do I intrude upon that rest and use it as a spiritual excuse for sloth?
We need to honor the limits of our bodies. The Holy Spirit dwells within us and we need to respect His dwelling place. But more than that, we need to follow the example of service that God has set forth. We need to keep pressing when we are weary and trust in the supernatural strength that the Holy Spirit provides for all believers.When I pour over the Scriptures, I don’t find much about the need to love myself. Instead, I see over and over again that I am prone to selfishness and vanity, not that I need encouragement to embrace self-care. Click To Tweet
When I pour over the Scriptures, I don’t find much about the need to love myself. Instead, I see over and over again that I am prone to selfishness and vanity, not that I need encouragement to embrace self-care. I tend to view myself in as higher than others instead of emptying myself in service and outdoing others in showing honor for those around me.
You and I, we live in a self-centric age. Companies target us with specific marketing. The personal preferences at our fingertips are endless. We have variety upon variety of ways to communicate, or avoid communication, with others. We call it preferences but if we examined our hearts, I think we would see that it translates to self-centered.
Christ told us to take up our cross and follow Him.
John 15 tells us that there is no greater love than laying your life down for another. This is an act of radical self-abandonment, at the expense of self-care.
At the end of my life, when I face my Maker, I don’t want to say I’ve held anything back. I want to live a life poured out in service of the God who sacrificed His life in place of my sin. He didn’t protect His life, He willingly gave it up.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. -Philippians 2:3-8, ESV
Counting others better than ourselves is very different than looking at the mirror and thinking of your own needs before those of your neighbors.John 15 tells us that there is no greater love than laying your life down for another. This is an act of radical self-abandonment, at the expense of self-care. Click To Tweet
No one had to teach me to care for myself. But I need to be taught to sacrifice myself, as Christ showed us, for others out of love. Maybe you’re not like me but, if the Scriptures speak to the state of your heart as they do to mine, then you struggle, even on your best days, to think of others before yourself. Because loving our neighbors as ourselves? It’s hard, holy work.
I am prone to selfishness. The self-care trend has fed this sin in my life, and in the lives of many of those around me. It’s prioritized the “me” over the “other.” Click To Tweet
Jesus rested. He withdrew from the crowds to seek time with His Father. But He also pressed into the crowds and provided for their needs when He was tired and the day had been long. When others encouraged Him to send people home, He broke bread and fed them.
I am prone to selfishness. The self-care trend has fed this sin in my life, and in the lives of many of those around me. It’s prioritized the “me” over the “other.” Rest, as God did on the Seventh Day, but work in the same self-giving manner on the other days.
Don’t allow yourself to become conformed to the world around you but continually renew your mind and heart to center around the Truth.
This doesn’t mean we need to neglect or abuse our body, but Scripture makes it clear that you and I need to prioritize others-care before self-care.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. – Hebrews 13:16, ESV
So go and do good. Enjoy the world God has created and savor the simple joys of life. But don’t allow it to become an excuse for selfishness.
Live poured out and allow the Living Water to quench your thirst over and over again. But remember that your life is not your own, but is meant to be offered up as a sacrifice to the God who gave His life for you.