5 Vital Lessons About Self-Care from Jesus

This past summer has been a blur. Due to my husband’s critical illness and subsequent complications, I am steeped in the role of being a caretaker. I love my husband dearly, but I must be honest and say that caretaking is one of the most challenging jobs I have ever done. It becomes all-consuming, and sometimes you wonder how you will get everything done.

There have been days I have been completely worn out by driving back and forth to the hospital or doctor appointments. It is easy to lose your identity when you have to juggle so many things. I don’t know what you are juggling at the moment. Maybe you are caring for your husband or wife,  children, elderly parents, or siblings. I know it isn’t easy. But through all this, I learned some vital lessons about self-care from Jesus.

5 Vital Lessons About Self-Care from Jesus

1.) Self-Care is Important.

I have listened to many sermons about self-care being selfish, but that is not true. Don’t you think when God rested on the seventh day, He was teaching us the importance of self-care? I do! Self-care is setting time aside for you to reset and focus on the things that need to be taken care of and to refill your tank.  

Jesus would often have the disciples go on ahead and leave him behind so He could spend time with His Father. It is vitally important for us to take time to spend with God. Mark 1:35 states, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Self-care changes your perspective and your attitude when you feel empowered by the time you spend with the Father. Self-care is loving yourself enough to call a time out and allow yourself a respite, even if you can only grab five minutes. Spending those five minutes doing something for yourself can save you from being overwhelmed, frustrated, or depressed. It helps keep your emotions in check and can prevent you from losing your temper with the person you are caring for. We are told in Proverbs 4:23. “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Here is more proof that it is biblical for each of us to care for ourselves.

2.) It is Okay to Cry.

Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. Crying is giving yourself the same compassion you would give to someone else. There are three times in scripture where it talks about the fact that Jesus wept. We shouldn’t feel bad if Jesus could cry and not feel bad about crying. We are human beings created with emotions and feelings. It has been said that tears are a way to cleanse the soul. Trust me, my soul has gone through a lot of cleansing these past few months. Some days are hard, and the decisions I had to make were difficult. Through our tears, we are reminded how human Jesus was, and so are we. Jesus cried for himself in the garden of Gethsemane, knowing the bitter cup he would have to drink, and for his friends, showing great compassion when He saw how much they loved Lazarus, who had died.

3.) Caregiving Deepens Your Prayer Life.

Caregiving thrusts you into prayer because you learn quickly that you can’t do anything on your own. There are days I throw my hands in the air and pray to God to give me strength, wisdom, and clarity to do what is best for the situation. Prayer reassures me that I’m not alone or making decisions from my emotions. I have been reciting the Lord’s prayer to keep my sanity and heart in check. A quick prayer at a stop light can change the momentum of your day and fill you with the peace you desperately crave.

Related Post: Who Cares for You After You Care for Everyone Else?

4.) Allow Others to Help You!

Self-care is letting others help carry the burden with you. Let someone run errands, make a meal for you, do laundry, or give you the time to nap. There is no shame in admitting you need help. As brothers and sisters in Christ, isn’t this what we should do? Serve each other in our times of need. I am convinced it was the reason that Jesus called the disciples to follow Him because, in his humanness, He knew He couldn’t do everything on his own. Jesus knew His time was coming when He would need help fulfilling His calling.

5.) Just Say No!

There is a saying in ministry to ask the busiest person if you want something done because you know it will get done. However, as a caregiver, I assure you that you are busy enough trying to maintain daily life and keep yourself running without added responsibilities. Have you ever seen the circus act where the person tries to keep all the plates spinning without any of them falling? Eventually, one of your plates will fall, and you will likely have a mess to clean up. It is okay to say “No”.

We would never expect to drive our car for 100,000 miles without filling the tank with gas, doing an oil change, and never bothering to see why the check engine light is on. Yet, this is what we do to ourselves. Why do we do that? Because we don’t want to look like a failure and feel like we will disappoint people. Jesus has never told us to be ALL things to ALL people. EVER! We do our best, but to keep ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, we must invest in self-care. The most important thing we can do is run to Jesus. I love how the “The Passion Translation” states this scripture.

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways, and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.

Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT)

Jesus is my oasis, and He will be your oasis, too. Jesus is our hope, and when life becomes too much, I promise He will give you the strength you need and didn’t even know you had. He will put others in your life and protect you in ways you may not see at the time but will later.

Self-care can feel awkward when it isn’t something you don’t normally do. But as people say, practice makes perfect. I’m not perfect at self-care, but I am getting better. One of the ways I do self-care is by taking a walk every day, rain or shine. I spend time in prayer while I’m walking, and it rejuvenates my soul. Plus, it gives me the physical stamina I need. What are some ways you do self-care? I would love for you to share how you do self-care.

As for my husband, he has come a long way but still has a ways to go in his recovery. We are both learning as we go but trusting God in the process.

2 Comments

  1. Sheila, can I just say I relate. This whole year has been a blur for me and remembering self-care hasn’t always been at the top of my list. But while I was sitting in the hospital with a friends mother-in-law, my Bible was a faithful companion. Working the prayer line early in the morning, my Bible is there. It doesn’t matter what I do or where I’m doing it, I’m so thankful God is with me every step of the way every moment of every day. I have Matthew 11:28 on a post-it note on my desk. That and Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. God is so good to us. In the struggle and when we’re still. God is always there.

  2. Heather,
    I thought about you and prayed for you because I know from personal experience self-care is hard. I love the scriptures it is a real reminder of how much Jesus loves us in the process. It is wonderful to know we NEVER walk alone.

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