Self-care beware

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up. (John C. Maxwell)

Romans 8:5-8 reminds us that, "Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored." What 'moral muscle' have you been attempting to exercise lately? When it comes down to examining the outcome of that 'exercise', do you find that 'moral muscle' had a consistently positive outcome, or did it leave a little to be desired?

Obsession with self is overrated, but it seems that society wants to further that obsession at every turn. Self-help, self-actualization, self-care - all of these are trends that might just indicate how much time and energy we put into taking care of 'self'. I did a search this morning to see how much is out there on the web as it related to 'self-care' - you might be surprised to know there are topics from self-care for women in the workplace, in a dating relationship, as a minority, and even for children. While I am all for destressing and taking care of one's body, mind, and spirit, we can over-indulge our 'self' sometimes - at the expense of others, our relationship with God, and even with our responsibilities in life. 

Most of what we see portrayed as 'self-care' is not all that bad. We need time to refresh our minds and bodies. We should take time to refresh our spirits in prayer and study in God's Word. We should not do this at the expense of others, though. Nor do we do whatever actions we will do for 'self-care' in order to boost our confidence, affirm our ego, or exalt our opinion of ourselves. That flies in the face of what God tells us about how we are to live our lives. We are to focus on God, allowing his Spirit to come through in all our actions, and trust him to renew what needs that deep refreshing within us.

Attention to God first does more to renew our minds, re-energize our bodies, and get us on track with where we should go with our day. Don't neglect this most important step as you consider 'self-care' each day. It will do more for you than any other pursuit of 'self-care' you can undertake. Just sayin!


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