Three Essential Elements of Self Care

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1–2

Nancy was a military wife for 30 years. Her experiences raising a family overseas while navigating other cultures made her an invaluable friend and mentor. I’ll never forget her advice: “Take care of your mental health, your spiritual health, and your physical health.” Her wise counsel kept me whole during my years abroad. 

There is much in Scripture about holistic care of the mind, spirit, and body. Paul writes about the renewal of the mind in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed, but be transformed”. Warren Wiersbe states the idea is best expressed as metamorphosis1 – defined as a change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means

The Holy Spirit transforms our minds as He guides our thought processes. In this way, the creeping caterpillar of conformity becomes the transformed butterfly, enabling us to examine our lives from a biblical perspective. 

In 3 John 2, John expresses joy that his friend Gaius is “walking in the truth”. He is acknowledging Gaius’ spiritual strength, but he also prays for his physical strength. John knew that Gaius’ holistic health was vital to his ministry to fellow brothers traveling and preaching the Word. 

It is evident that John and Paul followed Jesus’ example of care for others and himself. Jesus prayed (Luke 5:16) and meditated (Matthew 4:4). He knew when to eat and rest (Mark 6:30-32), and he had a support group (Mark 3:13-14). Jesus’ care for himself was an integral part of carrying out his ministry while he lived on earth. 

Sister, be encouraged, and follow the example of Jesus, Paul, and John. Pay attention to your mental, spiritual, and physical self, areas that are easily overlooked as we serve others. Take to heart the wise words of Elisabeth Elliott, “Work is a blessing… He gives us hands and strength to do it. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.” – Elisabeth Elliott, The Glad Surrender 

Heavenly Father, I pray that You will guide us in the proper care of ourselves so that we will be renewed and strengthened for the work that You have given us to do during this season of life. I pray that as we care for ourselves, we can care for and love others, and continue to make Your name known among the nations. Amen.

1 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 542). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. 

This devotion was originally published at Thrive Ministry

About texpatfaith

I'm a returned Christian expat living in Texas after several years residing in the Middle East and the South Pacific. I have the great privilege of writing about my experiences through the eyes of my faith, and to know and love my brothers and sisters serving in Christ's name all over the world. I have a special heart for the missionary community whom I now serve through the Missionary Care Team at my church. I am a writer, researcher, teacher, and archaeology enthusiast who also loves peering into the heavens any chance I get - but most importantly I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord. "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." Elisabeth Elliott Shirley Ralston (MA Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary)
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1 Response to Three Essential Elements of Self Care

  1. Sherri Moore says:

    Perfect timing, Shirley, just what I needed to hear. You are a wonderful Christian sister.

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