Sadness, grief, deep sorrow; these are things that make us uncomfortable. We’re quick to call for healing both in ourselves and in others because we don’t want to deal with the painful emotions involved in a time of grief. But the reality is, when we’ve suffered a loss, whether as a result of a death, or a betrayal, or any other sudden life-altering circumstance, a time of mourning is a natural and NECESSARY part of any TRUE healing process. To minimize its importance is to cripple the mourner. It’s not the way God responds to us, and it’s not the way He calls us to respond. If healing is our goal, we have to learn to handle grief as He does.
We’ve been looking at what the Bible has to teach us about self-care. Over the past three weeks we’ve learned that Jesus demonstrated self-care by making a habit of spending time alone with His Father, and by intentionally developing other spiritual disciplines. We learned that as members of the body of Christ, good self-care will include our whole body – the church. Finally, last week we learned that making time to rest is not only good self-care, but is commanded by God Himself. We also learned that there is really only one Source for true rest – Jesus Christ. This week, let’s wrap this series up by nailing down some solid, practical steps we can all take in order to implement some good, Biblical self-care. Let’s commit to making each step a regular part of our lives.
We’ve spent the past two weeks examining the topic of self-care from a Biblical perspective. We learned from the example of Jesus that it is vital for believers to make time to get alone with God on a very regular basis. We learned that good, God-honoring self-care always includes time to draw closer to Him, and to develop our spiritual disciplines. Though, this shouldn’t get in the way of occasional spontaneous opportunities to change our schedule and show compassion. We also learned that our definition of “self” is likely a little smaller than God intends. As believers, we’re part of the body of Christ, which means that taking care of our bodies will include taking care of the church. (And as one comment so perfectly pointed out last week, taking care of our body will also include GOING TO the church for care when we need it.) Today, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about rest, and how that fits in to good self-care.
Today we’re going to examine how self-care relates to “His body.” Last week we looked to the example of Jesus to try and learn what true, Biblical self-care looks like. We discovered that Jesus did, in fact, practice self-care during His time here on earth. Though, it didn’t really look much like the picture the world tries to paint for us.
Jesus made spending time alone with His Father a priority. He went through grueling spiritual preparations before entering into battle with Satan. He was in tune with the Holy Spirit, and willing to change His plans if God led Him a different way. Each of these things required intention, and Jesus was committed to taking care of Himself in order to be fully equipped for the job to which His Father had called Him. Are we called to anything less? (If you have a few minutes, and you didn’t have a chance to read last week’s post, do it now. It lays a solid foundation for what we’re going to discuss today.)
Now let’s look a little more closely at one surprising area in which the Bible calls us to be intentional in our self-care efforts.
It’s a big buzz word these days – Self-Care. Especially in the world of Betrayal Trauma Recovery. Unfortunately, it’s an idea that’s always kinda rubbed me the wrong way. The concept feels contrary to the self-sacrificing life I’ve always believed I’m called to lead as a follower of Christ.
When the proverbial uh-hum… dookey?… hit the fan, though, I was forced to re-evaluate my beliefs in just about every area of my life. I had to take a magnifying glass to my heart and allow the Word of God to divide out the things that didn’t line up. As I started down the long road to recovery, the idea of self-care seemed to bombard me at every turn. Everyone seemed to be suggesting that I couldn’t heal unless I learned to prioritize self-care. I wasn’t buying it, but finally, I surrendered to God and asked Him to help me find truth.
When my mind is racing, and I find sleep impossible, there’s a fun little game I play with God to focus my mind on Him. Often times, this simple act of discipline is all it takes to calm my anxieties and bring rest.