Self-care is about physical and mental health and well-being. It’s about taking care of our bodies, minds, and souls so we may become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We’ve been fed with the message that we need to put ourselves first, in order to recharge and refuel so that we may take better care of others. While I agree with the basis and importance of self-care, I think a great number of people are missing the most important piece in self-care: God.
We can never truly obtain self-care without God’s love. We can practice self-care all we want, but eventually, we will hit a dead end. We may feel like we have obtained true peace–maybe for months or years–but at some point we will find ourselves feeling like it’s not enough, like something is missing. What’s “missing” is God. Who gives us the tools to provide self-care? God. Jesus said, “I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV). The Bible teaches us that we are not the center of our own lives, nor are we in charge–God is.
Where to Find Rest
Are we tired and weary, and know it’s important to take care of ourselves? Yes. It’s necessary to practice gratitude, mindfulness, and awareness, but it’s not enough to just do those things. It’s not enough to turn towards ourselves and our “self-care rituals” to find rest and relief from stress. Jesus, The Prince of Peace, said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” He didn’t say that just to be polite. He said it because it’s the Truth. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves ” (Matthew 11:28-29).
Remember when He told Martha not to be anxious about the housework, but to come and relax with Him (Luke 10: 38-42)? Caring for ourselves is worshiping God. We can do both simultaneously. We can care for ourselves, while also putting God first. But if we do not put God first, we are missing the importance of self-care. The return rate on putting God first is invaluable.
The Truth Will Set Us Free
We’re like a tennis ball being tossed back and forth between two rackets. One racket is the worldview’s version of self-care and the other racket is God’s version of self-care. We’re being fed both sides, but are constantly up in the air between the two, not sure which is the winner. God is always the winner. And by choosing God’s true version of self-care, we too, are winning.
Is it important to pick a self-care ritual that fits our personality and lifestyle? Yes. But to truly benefit from that particular moment or activity we must focus on something bigger than ourselves. If our self-care practice includes going for a walk, don’t just go for a walk; rather, let’s be mindful of how God created the big picture around us–from the dirt to the trees, to the birds. God is in Everything. You can find Him in every self-care ritual. It’s only through seeking and noticing God in our self-care practices that we will truly obtain peace, joy, healing, and health.
What do you like to do for self-care and how can you put God in your practice?
I pray you find your best rest within God, my friend.