Why Self-Care Isn't Selfish
Next to my spiritual life, physical care comes a close second.
This hasn’t always been the case, however. I used to think that taking care of myself was a selfish thing. I used to believe that loving God meant serving Him nonstop.
Not only is this erroneous thinking, it actually sabotages my best intentions.
When I am tired, I don’t think as clearly. I have less energy to be fully present with others or filter what comes out of my mouth.
The result: a survival mentality and damage to key relationships.
Not a good exchange.
Two years ago, I started with a small goal: getting good sleep.
Once I started making sleep a priority, I began to see two key things:
1. Caring for myself is an act of humility.
2. Caring for myself is then an act of stewardship.
I may not be God, but I am responsible for caring for what He gives me. I am not being selfish, but rather, I am honoring my limits and doing what I can to keep myself in good shape.
When I do this, I can then serve the Lord and others with more thoughtfulness, stamina and endurance for the marathon ahead.
It’s amazing what regular sleep can do.
Now lest I am misunderstood, let me also clarify what I am not saying.
Self-care is not the end goal. It is a means to a greater end—being fully present to serve the Lord and others.
Self-care should not be an obsession. I do not believe we are slaves to our bodies.
Self-care is not going to save us from illness or disease. That can still happen, simply because we live in a fallen world.
However, I do believe in taking time to do our own cooking instead of resorting to processed foods that can fool us into thinking we are eating healthy.
I do believe in doing what we can to work in physical movement into our day, not just coasting along with a sedentary lifestyle.
We maintain our cars and recharge our phones. We do these things so that they can continue to run properly.
Self-care is the same idea.
Take care of yourself—not just for your own ends, but so that we too can run with endurance the race set before us (Heb. 12:1).