God has made me increasingly aware of my ability to put everything and everyone else on my to-do list as top priorities to my own neglect. This behavior seems harmless, yet I am growing to understand that it is sinful. My body is the temple of God. When I neglect myself, I am neglecting Gods temple. The King of Kings and Lord or Lords dwells here, it must be cared for with excellence. Some time back, I was brainwashed with the lie that self-care was selfish, unconsciously, I began to value everyone else’s needs above my own. This mindset is no stranger to many, especially women. As we are nurturers, we often wake up early to nurture, work, and care for our loved ones; however, there absolutely must be care given for ourselves. Burn-out and resentment flourish when a person ignores themselves to varying degrees in the name of servanthood. My new chapter begins where I left off seven years ago, learning to care for me. Admittingly, even when I have time to take care of me, I lack the motivation which becomes a barrier to my efforts.
How do we overcome this vicious cycle of self-neglect, burn-out, and resentment? Beginning with prayer, I ask God to help me, help myself. We must earnestly believe that God knows the areas in which we struggle and is concerned about every aspect our lives. After praying and believing, we take action. To conquer the lack of motivation, I get inspired. I am going to journey back to Pinterest and revisit my pins, look through magazines, read up on the latest health trends, plan a vacation, learn something new, go somewhere different, and upgrade my style. It is imperative that I take baby steps and celebrate small victories. For example, I am going to go for a walk today. This is a big deal for me. I have not been in the gym for months. As I yearn for complete obedience to the Father, whenever a truth is illuminated in Gods’ word, it becomes my reality, thus my expectations of myself change. To reinforce the need for self-care, let’s go to the Word of God.
“ for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20
Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to have right standing with God. The cost bestowed was his perfect sacrifice for our eternal life. Jehovah Jireh provided for our desperate need of redemption from sin, consequently, we are to honor God with the new lives we have been given. In our bodies, we are to triumph in the Lord. Taking the time to process our feelings, play, exercise, take breaks, eat, and sleep honors God in our bodies. God gets the glory when we abstain from sinful behavior, as well as when we actively participate in activities that promote our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When we neglect those vital areas in our lives, we more than likely we have shifted our focus from Gods intent for us onto the cares of this world. We can become so fixated with helping others, working in the church, earning income and the like that we forget to honor God with our bodies. For me, this happens when I plan to care for myself after ALL of my other responsibilities have been met, which is never, as my to-do list is infinite. Consequently, the there is no “me time”. To combat this self-destructive and neglectful behavior, I am going to schedule time for self-care.
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Our theme for this year at church is “A Time of Refreshing.” I did not realize it until now but it is crucial that I surrender my will for the Lords and be refreshed. Clothed in denial, I would lie and tell myself that I was refreshed and full of vitality when the truth was that my life was unbalanced and I needed help! God refreshes us when we yield to Him. Furthermore, He satisfies us with His love, grace, mercy, and tenderness. To be kept by God is self-care. God does not want us to work ourselves to death. I must admit that often this behavior manifests itself in me when my faith is lacking. The more I trust God to supply ALL of my needs, the less I feel that I have to micromanage my life. Do not get me wrong, planning, preparing, and pursuing is important, but so is pausing, praying, and pressing towards balance. If you struggle in this area, take a step. When we take one step by faith, God exponentially strengthens us to take the following steps. I am looking forward to getting back to my future, coming to know and understand God afresh, thus glorifying the Almighty in my body. Join me.