In a recent conversation with a friend, the topic of self-care came up, I responded with a loud laugh and an awkward statement of; “I think you’ll find me on the wrong end of the spectrum when it comes to self-care, I tend to indulge far too much in caring for myself!”
My friend’s response, “I don’t there’s anything wrong with indulging in self-care and I think more people should indulge in self-care and not feel bad about it. Imagine what a better world we would live in if everyone cared for themselves better.”
Have you ever played the game boggle? It’s a game where a tray of letter dice is shaken up and then laid out for you to form as many words as you can from the letters. Aside from an episode of King of the Hill with Peggy yelling “Booyah!” every time she won a match as she climbed her way to boggle fame, I have only played the game once. However, this is the picture I get when I think about my thought patterns. Here’s what I mean; picture any topic as the little tray and my thoughts are the little dice laid out neatly. I have drawn out my opinions and, just like the words in boggle, I put them on my little score sheet that I tally up and yell “Booyah!” when I have the highest score.
My friend’s response in the above conversation took my little boggle tray of thoughts and shook them up. Why was she so confident in promoting self-care? And Why did I feel so guilty for indulging in self-care?
Why did I feel so guilty for indulging in self-care? Why? My number one go to for self-care is reading the Bible and after that is investing in my physical health and mental wellness. I don’t do these things to the detriment or neglect of my family or responsibilities. So why do I feel guilty? Why have we been convinced that living our lives as depleted, worn out, doormat martyrs is some sort of badge we should tote around? Or some sort of gauge we should use to see if we are really the best mom, the best wife, the best friend? Like she with the least bit of “self” left at the end of the race wins?
I sat with all these thoughts racing and kept coming back to Sovereignty. We’ve been talking a lot about this idea of Me-Centric and what it means to live in the trap where self is the center of the universe. What it means for us to give ultimate power and ultimate authority to self rather than to God. The definition of sovereign means ultimate power or authority. And that title belongs to God and Him alone.
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
1 Timothy 6:15
which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
The type of self-care I want to talk about is in light of God’s sovereignty. In Ephesians 6 we are given an understanding that there are earthly authorities and spiritual authorities of evil and darkness. But we must remember that God is the supreme power and supreme authority over all. We are also told in Ephesians 6 that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Guess what? That means even within ourselves. Let me ask you this. Are you at war within yourself today? Are you feeling depleted, worn out, or like you’ve lost yourself along the way? A little self-care may be just what you need. The kind of self-care that is outlined in Ephesians 6. And you thought spiritual armor was just a cool outfit warrior princess got to wear.
- God is the ultimate authority submit yourself to Him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
- Spend some time caring for yourself by preparing yourself.
11 put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
- Care for your Heart, your Mind, your Soul, your Environment, your Health
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and shaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance,
- Care for those around you
making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Amanda wrote last week about the wonderful example her Granny set for being kind and thoughtful to others. A life like that, a life lived poured out for others comes from a full well. My friends, no matter how hard you try if you are depleted and worn out you are a dry well.
True healing comes only through Christ. The best way I can sum it up is this:
“Hurt people hurt people” to which I will add, “But healed people help others heal.”