Caring for yourself

How are the New Years resolutions going? Did you make a resolution about eating less, doing more exercise, or generally getting healthy? When it comes to getting healthy we tend to focus on one thing, whether that is food, or exercise, or something different but it really does need to be a holistic effort. Our thought for the week comes from the world health organisation, and I love it! It says

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

All aspects of our lives have an affect on all of the other aspects, and we need to be aware of that if we are to take care of ourselves. When it comes to looking after ourselves we are often our own worst enemies, we can tell other people what they need to do to take care of themselves but often fail to do the same ourselves.

One of the most quoted verses from the Bible (not officially, I’m just guessing) is “love your neighbour as yourself”. People often quote this verse to show how we should care for others, even strangers – after all it is linked with the parable of the Good Samaritan. BUT the assumption is that we love ourselves and treat ourselves with love. But how can we show such love to others if we do not love ourselves? It is not, as is often thought, selfish to take care of ourselves as it means that we can then have the strength to love others. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he says

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies

How do we honour God with our bodies? By taking care of them, so that we, can then take care of others and reflect God’s love to them.

This week I had to take a day off work to rest my voice… I felt guilty but it was necessary to then teach the rest of the week. God rested on the seventh day, and Jesus regularly took breaks to rest and recuperate – perfect examples of looking after themselves to be able to show love to others.

Challenge: do a self check of things you do to show you care for yourself, and things that show care for others – is the balance correct?

Prayer: Father God, thank you that you created us in your image, and that we temples of your Holy Spirit. Help us to take care of ourselves so that we, may take care of others. Amen

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