What Does the Bible Say About Self-Care?
As church leaders, it's common to pour out ourselves in ministry, we forget to tend to our own selves. But as depression and anxiety awareness sweeps through the Church, learning how we can best care for ourselves is the next step.
Taking Care of the Divine Image
In the gospel of Luke we come across two interesting passages that are helpful for our discussion on depression, as they reflect the idea that taking care of ourselves is an important quality since we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27): We are made in the image of God; therefore, it's important we take care of ourselves.
The first passage is in Luke 2:52: And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
The second passage is in Luke 10:27: He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Both passages embody this idea that there are varying aspects of what makes us, us, and that those aspects need to be tended to.
Following the Example of Jesus
Looking at Jesus' life, we see he grows in the following ways:
- Physically (stature: this could be both physical height and reputation)
- Emotionally (favor with man)
- Mentally (wisdom), and
- Spiritually (favor with God)
Jesus commands us to love God with all of our heart (emotionally), soul (spiritually),
strength (physically) and mind (mentally) — followed by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
To love our neighbor means that we start by loving all aspects of this divine image.
It may feel unnatural to tend to ourselves when we're so used to pouring out to serve others. But as Jesus commands, loving God takes all aspects of us, as does loving our neighbor as ourselves.
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