SELF-CARE: For the best self-care, biblically examine yourself (Matthew 7:1-5). This can include recognizing your emotions and choosing godly thoughts so you can act on renewed beliefs. And God will heal your heart in the most important way.
In case you missed it, here’s part one in this series where you learned the role of the heart in true self-care. In part three, you’ll also discover how to change habits that hurt your heart.
This brief article shares my own journey in embracing self-care, beginning with these steps.
- Recognize emotions.
- Choose thoughts that line up with God’s word.
- Act on renewed beliefs.
Recognizing Your Emotions
I’m tired of my own crazy fear of self-care that it is extravagant. This is how I’m changing, a step at a time. You can too.
The first step begins with recognizing your emotions.
The emotion of fear tells me something’s wrong with my heart. In the bible the word heart refers to the inner self. Your heart is the control center of your being; it is the immaterial part of you that includes desires, motivations, beliefs, and thoughts.
As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man. Proverbs 27:19
We do what we do and feel what we feel because we think what we think. More simply, your thoughts determine your emotions and actions.
Personalizing this truth, I recognized that my thoughts led to fear and to the actions of working overtime, and failing to rest, exercise regularly, and just enjoy this wonderful world God created. I knew I had a problem when I became too busy to notice my hardy red geraniums had turned brown and crunchy. Have you let busyness crowd out your self-care?
I love my work as a biblical counselor and counseling hearts to hope. I love love love finding treasures of truth in books by Ed Welch and Paul Tripp and Elyse Fitzpatrick and Bob Kellemen and other biblical counseling leaders.
But when I choose Ed, Paul, Elyse, or Bob over eating dinner, wouldn’t you agree I’ve gone too far?
Identifying Your Thoughts
Recognizing my faulty thinking and choosing new godly thinking is a second step in true self-care. When one’s thinking is out of line with God’s thinking, this means the heart’s desire is off. My focus was pleasing me not God.
My thoughts sounded like,
I need to work harder.
Self-care is a waste of time.
My worth depends of what I do.
Note the emphasis on self. Having battled self-sufficiency since childhood, I know that God was giving me another chance to deny the sin of pride. This time it’s pride in thinking I can defy God-ordained limits in my physical needs. Jesus slept, ate, and had fun too. Am I above Jesus?
Where do you tend toward faulty thinking?
Acting on Renewed Beliefs
To choose to change faulty thinking is life transforming. At Biblical Counseling Center where I counsel hurting people in person and by Skype, we often say, “Faith is believing the Word of God, and acting upon it, no matter how you feel, knowing God promises a good result.” So the third step is acting upon biblical truth.
Namely, get enough sleep, exercise, and spend refreshing time with family and friends while trusting God. I’m learning to view and practice consistent self-care in a new way: an act of worship.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Do you agree consistent, true self-care an act of worship? Please leave a comment. Thanks.