Last week we talked about getting to the bottom of WORK, leisure, and what’s the point? Today we are looking at the next logical topic: building out your schedule and the importance of taking care of yourself. Listen in here:
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What does it mean to invest in yourself?
This is a hot topic right now in Christian circles. Many people proclaim we need to be doing MORE to invest in ourselves and others say that this is an entirely selfish phrase or idea and we need to throw it out.
Where do I stand? Right in the middle of this debate.
I think that there is a huge movement in our culture to be selfish. Spend all your time and money on yourself. The good life consists of many shopping days, trips to the spa and making sure YOU are #1 priority in your life…to the exclusion of others. That is a wrong and sinful attitude.
So on the flip side, I think Christians often overreact on the other end and we take the idea of denying ourselves so far to the extreme that we no longer have the capacity to serve well because we’ve neglected ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
We see that we ARE to live a selfless life. We are to want to become more and more like Christ. We are to deny our own selfish wants and desires and follow HIM!
So we shouldn’t plunge all of our time, money, and energy into ourselves. We shouldn’t be selfish to the detriment of those around us especially.
Caring for our health
But we should also be concerned about caring for this body and mind that God has given us so that we can serve him with joy and vigor.
If we run ourselves into the ground trying to be and do everything, we won’t have the energy or creativity to joyfully serve our family and do all that God has called us to in this life with joy.
God calls us to be wise with our time. To use it well. To serve him. And I think a very wise use of some of our time, is making sure that we are taking care of ourselves.
“Some godly people who exercise regularly and eat well drop dead at every age. And some sedentary overeaters live to be ninety. Our days are set by God, not us. You won’t live a day longer or shorter than God decides. But keep in mind that some people have survived the plunge over Niagara Falls. That doesn’t make it wise.” – Physical Exercise by John Piper
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
John Piper explains why he puts time and energy into jogging: “Underneath most of my besetting sins is despondency. I am less prone to such melancholy when I hammer my body three times a week. The reason could be endorphins. Could be ego. Whichever, it’s cheaper than Prozac or psychotherapy. I’m simply happier. And I sleep better. I have more energy. Most of that energy goes into the Bible and preaching and people. And the fruit from that is, I hope, edification. Which means I exercise to be a more loving person and a better pastor.”
Caring for our bodies and our minds is being a WISE steward of what God has given us:
“If you ask how the fruit of exercise relates to the fruit of the Spirit, my answer is this: the Holy Spirit produces his fruit both directly and indirectly. He can zap you in your worst moments and make you kind. But he often does it indirectly.
For example, if you are impatient when you get little sleep, and if patience is a fruit of the Spirit (which it is, Galatians 5:22), very likely the Holy Spirit will not only remind you of the sufferings of Christ and the glory of God’s promises, but he will also give you the humility to stop being God and go to bed on time.
And if you sleep better when you regularly exercise, then the Holy Spirit also will give you the humble discipline to exercise so that you sleep better so that you are more patient. If he does it that way, it is still his fruit.” – John Piper
So what’s the point?
In moving forward into 2021 with Joy, I think it’s a very important discussion to be had about taking care of ourselves (and that of the physical, spiritually, and mental well being of our families).
There’s a lot of fear and anxiety going around right now. How do we combat that? By being in God’s Word. Eat less sugar and caffeine. Go outside and go for a walk. Laugh and play with your children. This is all in line with God and His plan AND will help you combat that fear and anxiety.
When I think of self care, it encompasses a lot.
I think first of my Spiritual well being: Am I in God’sWord? Am I in constant and daily prayer with him? Am I making HIM truly the #1 priority in my life?
Then I think of my physical well being: I hit rock bottom with my health after having our daughter, and I went into a season of really working on my health. It was the priority I needed at the moment and left little room for much else. If I hadn’t taken that time and money to work on my health then, I wouldn’t have this ministry here today. I wouldn’t be have the energy to homeschool my kids or play with them. I wouldn’t be using my time and talents to serve the Lord.
I think this is also an important discussion for hobbies and fun. I think that taking a little time away to do something that fuels us up and get us excited for a new day can be a very good thing.
Reading does this for me.
I also LOVE working with my hands doing crafts and producing things.
I took time to write early in our marriage. It wasn’t for any ministry or as a business, I just enjoyed writing and felt God calling me to explore it more. And the result is this ministry and conference here. Because I was faithful to lean into those gifts he gave me, God has used that to reach so many. I am always in awe of how God works in these ways.
Links & Resources:
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Grab your ticket to this year’s conference!
Did you enjoy this podcast episode? Then you are going to want to grab a ticket to listen to ALL 40 conference sessions all on this topic of Finding Joy in Your Home!
Grab your ticket here: Homemaking Ministries Online Conference. The theme this year is Finding Joy in Your Home. It’s going to be our BEST online conference yet. I invite you to come check out all the speakers, sessions, and other goodies.