Home Wellness Mental Health What Is the Theology of Self-Care?

What Is the Theology of Self-Care?

Theology of Self-Care
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The Word Became Flesh

With all the body’s needs, weaknesses, fragilities, and limitations—God took on a human body.

If we’re not careful, we can buy into a kind of modern-day gnostic heresy, where we deny the value of the body and the reality of our need to care for it.

Deny Yourself – Not Your Humanity

Denying yourself does not mean living in denial about your humanity. That’s not what Jesus did and it’s not what he’s asking you to do. God made you a human being with physical and emotional needs. Sleep, nutrition, exercise, and emotional refreshment are not luxuries or self-indulgences to squeeze in if you have time.

Loving Jesus first and taking up your cross daily doesn’t mean neglecting the needs God made your body with. It’s about crucifying your sinful attempts at being your own God. It may seem odd, but neglecting self-care to push yourself beyond your God-given limits can actually feed a sinful craving for self-sufficiency. So often our pride gets in the way, ultimately leaving us weak and vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.

Accepting your God-given limits and actively choosing to receive God’s gifts of Sabbath rest, food, play, and solitude are acts of worship and obedience.

Practice What You Preach…Like Jesus

Jesus, being fully God and fully man, regularly set aside time to be alone and to enjoy meals with friends.

The Scriptures record that Jesus often got away from the people for some solitude. Even though they sought him out, with legitimate needs he could have met, he instead disappointed them with priorities that differed from theirs (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16). He even needed breaks from his own ministry team (Matthew 14:22-23).

Jesus isn’t an Egyptian taskmaster driving us with unrelenting standards like when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. He’s the one that says, “I want to lift your heavy burdens and give you rest.” What he is calling you to is easy to bear (Matthew 11:28-30).

While man does not live by bread alone, Jesus didn’t shy away from caring for the body. Whether washing feet; frequently attending dinner parties; suppling the wine, fish, and bread by miraculous means; or cooking breakfast for the disciples after the resurrection, Jesus embraced reclining at the table with friends. Sometimes letting the work wait to sit still in the presence of our King is the better choice—at least that’s what Jesus told Martha (Luke 10:38-42).

Leaders—It Starts With You.

As a leader, it starts with you. Have you ever been on a flight and heard the flight attendant say, “In the event the cabin loses pressure oxygen masks will fall, if you’re traveling with a child, put your mask on first”? Put your mask on first?! That doesn’t sound very loving. But wait, what happens to the children if you pass out? Who will look out for them and care for them?