Day 23: Self-Care is Stewardship

{This post is part of my 31 Day blog series Work Hard + Rest Well: Learning Obedience in the Rhythms of Work and Rest.} I used to think self-care was selfish. They sound so alike…self-care and selfishness. They sound so self-focused. They just have too much 'self' to be spiritual.

And when we follow Jesus we’re laying down ourselves. We’re giving up our rights. We’re sacrificing our lives. So anything we do to care for our lives, for our physical selves somehow just sounds wrong.

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But somewhere down the road I started to understand stewardship, and suddenly I didn’t know what to do with the ‘selfish' idea of self-care anymore.

God created us in His image and He created us to glorify Him. He asked us to steward creation for His glory, so doesn’t that include stewarding our bodies that He created?

My body is not mine. Our bodies are not ours. God has given us the gift of life in these physical bodies. Our lives and our physical bodies are gifts to either use well or use poorly.

steward - a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something

We are stewards of our bodies. And this whole concept of stewardship is so intricately tied up in work and rest that it feels like untangling a delicate gold thread to even try to explain it.

Being a steward of something automatically implies work. We must work hard to steward our bodies well, and that includes self-care. Physical self-care Spiritual self-care Mental self-care

Part of stewarding ourselves, body and mind and spirit, is taking the time to rest. And self-care is part of our God-given stewardship and stewardship requires work and part of that work is to create rest for ourselves.

And as I’m untangling this thread, it begins to become clear that refusing to care for ourselves is in fact the more selfish mindset. It is saying to God that we don’t care about His creation that He has entrusted us with enough to sacrifice our work and our time and our energy to care for ourselves properly.

As I’ve listened to people far wiser than me, I’m increasingly convinced that self-care is an essential part of the stewardship that God calls us to. And it takes work and it leads to rest, but it’s essential.

Self-care is stewardship.

Be blessed <3