Something I’ve noticed about people, and Christians in particular, is that we have a hard time practicing self-care. Yet especially as believers, we have every reason to love ourselves and to treat our bodies, minds, and hearts with the same affection that the Lord does. To expound further upon the image we introduced yesterday of being the “apple of God’s eye,” I want to encourage you to bear good fruit in your life by staying connected to the Vine. In other words, slow down, abide in His love, learn from His example, and grow strong and healthy so you can nourish others. As you do this, He will empower you to establish rhythms of rest so you can embrace Kingdom life with energy, enthusiasm, and passion. Unfortunately, many of us get caught in the trap of “doing” rather than “being,” and we become devoted to crossing items off of a checklist rather than letting the Lord check our hearts. However, to live in the peace we have inherited by His Spirit, we must practice being still so we can receive His goodness in our souls. Practically speaking, this means that we need to pull ourselves away from the daily grind and intentionally seek quiet and solitude. Sometimes this requires that we find a tranquil place to study His Word and pray, or sometimes it takes a more action-oriented approach like spending time with life-giving people, adopting a new exercise routine, doing a fun activity, or choosing to go deeper in dealing with hurts and hangups by seeking wise counsel. Whatever its form, showing compassion to our own soul is absolutely essential to bearing the kind of fruit that feeds others and brings God’s Kingdom to earth with power and purpose!
My friend, as one whom Jesus treasures, you have every reason to love yourself. When the Lord looks at you, He sees a priceless and beautiful jewel, and since He compassionately protects and provides for you, you can rest in His sufficiency and stop spinning your wheels to prove your worth. God has given you authority to govern the kingdom of your heart with wisdom and prudence, and He beckons you to speak kindly and lovingly to your soul, just like He does. You are unique and totally irreplaceable, and your Savior wants to partner with you in bringing His Good News to your near-dwellers and neighbors. Take care of yourself, steward well the fullness of life with which He has blessed you, and you will bear good fruit that transforms the world around you!