By Dave Ragsdale, Vice President of Counseling & Team Training
Self Care is any discipline that nurtures your physical, emotional, spiritual, relational health and well being. Self Care is the proactive behavior that supports your resiliency and enables you to serve others even more effectively. It must be a top priority or it just won’t happen.
Think of Self Care as “missional”. As biblical!
Often when I say “You must be a top priority” “You are that important” I often see good Christian leaders start to get defensive. I hear them ask, “isn’t all this focus on the Self going to lead to selfishness?”. We often have negative associations to this…especially in a narcissistic society where the focus on Self Help is splashed on so many magazine covers. We see the “Self” and have many negative associations, like self absorbed people that stand in front of the mirror at the gym and check themselves out.
Many of us have a theology that can lead us downgrade our own importance. God first, family second, ministry 3rd, me last… if I am even on the list. We take “dying to self” out of context and think that we are called to sacrifice even the good things God has blessed us with.
I have heard a hundred versions of this shame based theology…it does not lead to life but death. Here are a few: Self=Flesh. A focus on self=selfish, the middle letter of SIN is I, there is no I in team..
I propose to you, you must have a life in order to sacrifice it well…you must have an authentic sense of self to serve God or others well. “The glory of God is a human being fully alive” said Iraneus, but so many burned out used up leaders are serving God with half a heart. Self Care is never a selfish act if it is done with the right spirit…it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have…my self.
To renew, restore and strengthen Christian leaders and their families