SELF-CARE: For the best self-care, biblically examine yourself (Matthew 7:1-5), beginning with a heart checkup.
In part one of this 3-part series, you’ll discover…
- Why you may bristle at the word “self-care.”
- A definition of heart checkup.
Self-care may sound…extravagant, even selfish. But for some of up — my old me! — I didn’t think I deserved self-care. Then I dared to ask myself, What’s my hangup?
Also I considered that Jesus took time to rest, didn’t he? He got away to the mountains and rejuvenated. He hung out with the broken people and lunched. I can imagine him smiling and laughing and cracking jokes.
And I asked myself, Am I denying the reality of my own humanity when I think I’m too busy to watch birds flit about my neighbor’s feeder? Or take time for a walk?
Could I reek with. . .twisted pride?
Reminder: The self-care of rest, exercise, meaningful work, eating well (and, for me, chocolate too!) isn’t selfish when your self-care is “onto the Lord.”
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
But divorced from a Godward focus, self-care can be selfish, wouldn’t you agree? Your motivation matters.
Most people think the heart is the emotional part of a person. Scripture suggests that it is your mind, emotions, and will. It is the center of your being. You can compare it to a control center. Your heart controls what you think, feel, say, and do.
Proverbs 4:23 says it well:
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
But there’s bad news. The Bible says your heart “tricks or deceives us into thinking that our desires are pure, that we want what we want because it is good and God approves,” writes Elyse Fitzpatrick, biblical counselor and author.
And this is why you need a heart checkup.
During the check up you’ll see whether your thoughts align with God’s thoughts. Also, you’ll find out if your actions and emotions are rotten or good.
By the way, in the counseling office, we focus on the heart. And when the counselee’s heart changes so does her life. But the goal isn’t life transformation per se; it is growth in Christlikeness.
3 Parts of the Heart
As mentioned, “heart” is the word the Bible uses for your mind and your emotions and your will altogether. Your mind, emotions, and will influence one another. Let’s look at the parts of the heart.
Your mind: Your mind involves your ability to understand, reason, and discern. It includes your beliefs and opinions.
Taken aback with news from angels about her son, Mary the mother of Jesus “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
The power of God’s word “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
As a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7, NLT).
Your emotions: You emotions include your moods as well as your longings, desires, and hopes.
Your will: Your will is the part of your inner person that chooses what actions to take. Your mind and emotions inform your will what to do.
I pray this three-part series helps you understand why your do what you do, so that you can choose God’s best always. Next time will focus on your emotions and thoughts.