As you may or may not have noticed, at the end of each of this month’s posts is a reference to 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes. I am responding to a prompt provided, and most of the days flow easily. It might take one or two false starts, but I usually get to writing fairly quickly after thinking for a few moments. Today’s prompt, “Person”, has thrown me for a loop, because my first instinct is to write about caring for yourself as a person.
Popular opinion in today’s culture puts self at the very top of, well, everything. Do what makes you happy. Follow your heart. You do you.
Some voices in the Christian culture mirror those sentiments, adding a Christian spin on it. Other opinions chalk up anything that sounds like self-care or confidence as ungodly selfishness.
But really, our confidence should come from the Lord. We have worth because He made us. Made in His image, we are precious to Him. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” I know a lot of people who listen to their doubts that they are not special, but remembering that God loves His creation (you!), makes someone special. When you are tempted to think you aren’t worth much, remember that.
Our self-care’s goal isn’t to be hedonistic or selfish, but should be to refresh ourselves, to be healthy people who can serve one another. Tireless work can be admirable to others, but at some point you can burn out. Jesus took breaks from ministry, to pray. Elijah took a God-given rest after Jezebel told him that she was going to kill him (I Kings 19). Praying, sleeping, eating, taking time away, can make such a difference in our attitudes and actions. Neglecting these practices can make it easier to sin. Take the time to take care.
Our service to others should come from our desire to serve God and others, not from a place of guilt, enabling, or “no one else will do it.” It can be sacrificial, but does not always need to be. Pray about service instead of just saying an automatic “yes.” Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What changes can you make to your life to live confidently in the Lord and in your service to Him?