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Posted 10/20/2020 in Christian Mental Health Tips

Christians and Self-Care: What Does the Bible Say About Self Care

Christians and Self-Care: What Does the Bible Say About Self Care

Bible Verse for Scripture on Self care

Are you working yourself to the point of burnout? Is the stress affecting your health? Are you spending your days emptying your cup without ever making time to fill it up again?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you are not alone. According to the World Health Organization, burnout has actually become a clinical syndrome. 

The things we choose to do every day have begun to affect our mental and physical health but many of us are too busy to even notice.

When we finally do notice and seek help, we often hear two words that we as Christians aren't sure is okay, SELF-CARE. We may also wonder what does the Bible say about self-care. 

These two words mess us up because we know that we are called to live self-sacrificial lives. We know we are here to lay down our selfish desires and serve others. But the world's definition of self-love makes us feel like we should desire to be served instead.

The problem with the term "self-love" is that the world tends to misuse, redefine, and blow the concept way out of proportion. Its meaning changes based on the situation and yes, in some instances self-care can be way too self-serving.

That said, self-care isn't entirely wrong. Biblical self-care is real and unlike the world's definition, it never changes. 

It is extremely beneficial to you, yet not at all self-serving or selfish. It will fill your cup and rejuvenate you without feeding your pride. So, what does the Bible say about self-care?

Before we look at what the Bible says about self-care, I would like to offer the simple definition of self-care so that we are on the same page.  Self-care is anything that you do to take of yourself and prevent burnout.  Ad to find a local Christian counselor

The Bible on Self-Care 

If you had to search for the words "self-care" in the Bible, you would not find it. Those words together place all the focus on self and as Christians, we do not come first, God does. Still, taking care of ourselves mentally and physically is important.   

That's why we will find numerous scriptures about it in God's Word. Here are a few Bible verses on self-care as it relates to taking care of our minds and bodies. When we read the Bible and search the God's word, we find may Bible verses about self-care.   

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~Romans 12:1-2

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” ~ Mark 6:31

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30

These verses about self-care show us that self-care is biblical. Christian self-care is not all about us. It's about drawing near to Him while taking care of the mind, body, and spirit He gave us.  This is why practicing self-care is a way to honor God and God's temple. 

Now that we know self-care is biblical, how do we practice it? Well, let's learn from the best example to have ever walked the earth.

Christians and Self-Care: What Does the Bible Say About Self CarePin it!Christ Jesus and Self-Care

Most Christians don't take time to rest and rejuvenate because they feel like it's wrong. They feel like they should spend every moment laying down their lives and serving others.

However, even Jesus who came down from heaven to actually serve others and lay down His life took time to focus on self-care by resting and making sure he was rejuvenate.

Other ways that Christ Jesus practiced self-care ways by spending time with His Father. He made time to eat. He made time to fast. He prayed daily. He practiced gratitude. He spent time alone. He recruited help. He rested. He fully prioritized His spiritual, mental, and physical health because it mattered.

And as follower of Jesus Christ, anything that mattered to Him should matter to us. It is our duty to follow the example He has set.

Christian Self-Care Tips

It's not wrong to do some of the things the world does when they practice self-care. 

If you need a massage, go for it. Need to relax in the bath, read a book, or eat ice cream? Why not? Need a day out with friends? Make the call. "Me time" can be done in a way that honors God.  In fact, some would say the Sabbath rest was the original "me time."  If you want to learn more about the benefits of taking time to do nothing check out this post on the hidden benefits of rest

Just don't let it end there, self-care is so much more than that. Here are 3 biblical self-care tips that will really fill you up:

Withdraw and Take Care of Your Spiritual Health

The best thing you could ever do to care for yourself is to withdraw and spend time with God.

We find Jesus doing this repeatedly in scripture for a reason.

He was here on a mission, and He knew to accomplish that mission it was important for Him to stay fully connected with the one who sent Him.

Living in this world is hard, your cup gets empty quickly and the only one able to fill you up is God. Despite what the world says, you can't do it all on your own. You need God, you will always need God.

Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Do this because you are God’s chosen vessel. . . God's temple. Your health matters to Him.  That’s why taking care of yourself physically and mentally is actually an act of spiritual worship.

Exercise, eat well, rest. Do it all for the glory of God.

Let the Holy Spirit Lead You

One of the most stressful things we all do today is try to stay in control. We think we have it all figured out but then one thing changes and we end up stressing even more. 

This endless cycle can be avoided if we only chose to live with an intention to move as the Spirit leads.

There's nothing wrong with making plans as long as we're willing to change them if and when the Spirit prompts us. 

The fact is, you might take on more than you can handle, but the Spirit won't prompt you to. That's why it's important to listen before you act.

God cares for you more than you would ever be able to care for yourself. So let go of the control the world is prompting you to take and let Him take over, you will thank yourself for it soon enough.

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About the Author: 

Christian Counselor in Maryland, New York and New Jersey Corine Williams, Ph.D.

Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams.  In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2

Help us increase mental health awareness in the Christian community by donating through our paypal link here: www.paypal.com/therapyforchristians, joining our mailing list by clicking below, or join our provider list here: Provider listing

Disclaimer: the information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this article are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are looking for a Christian counselor near you, please check out our directory located here:  Christians Therapist Near Me

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