5. Take care of self, then take care of others.
I am by far a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, teacher, PERSON now that I have taken some time and continue to take time to focus on self-care. I can do things to help others now that I would have never dreamed of doing at the size and mental state I was in before. This means that sometimes I have to leave my family to spend time alone or have true quiet time with the Lord. I have to take time away from them in order to exercise. It's a sacrifice that I think my husband (and my kids if they could express it) would say has been well worth it. Taking care of this body, that is actually not my own, is not selfish.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Another scripture to consider here is:
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
A couple of things are wrong here. First of all, the heading. Take care of self, then take care of others. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Kind of. As long as you understand I don't mean LOVE yourself more than others, then I think we're okay. The message I was trying to send is that we can not do the work to which God has called us, to the best of our ability, if we do not take some responsibility for self-care first. Self-care being quiet different from self-love. Scripture clearly states that we are to love others first, to think more highly of others than ourselves and that we are to die to self, daily. In fact, we are to deny our selfish, fleshly desires and put God first. I the whole issue here has to do with our motives. We can take care of our bodies because we want to look good in a bikini so men will stare at us on a beach and make us feel good about ourselves for being so hot (loving self) or we can want to become a healthier person so that we can serve others well (loving others). See the diff?
How should we love others? The way that we love ourselves. This is not a selfish love but a sacrificial love. We should have a sacrificial love of self, with the chief purpose of our self-love being to love others well. Think about it.
Read this awesome post about why Pastor John Piper chooses to exercise. In a nutshell "I have one life to live for Jesus. I don't want to waste it." (Love him!)
The other thing that is wrong is my exegesis (explanation of ) Galatians 5:14.Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." I said that we should love ourselves first and then copy that love toward others. This is an error. On the same day I wrote that post I opened up a book to begin reading, Lies Women Believe. Would you believe there was a whole chapter on this very topic? ;) Here is what Nancy Leigh DeMoss has to say about Galatians 5:14:
When Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, the point is not that we need to love ourselves so that we can love others. Jesus is saying we need to give others the same attention and care we naturally give ourselves.She goes on to say:
We are constantly looking out for ourselves, deeply sensitive to our own feelings and needs, always conscious of how things and people affect us. The reason some of us get hurt so easily is not because we hate ourselves but because we love ourselves! We want to be accepted, cherished, and treated well. If we did not care so much about ourselves, we would not be so concerned about being rejected, neglected or mistreated. The fact is, we do not hate ourselves, nor do we need to learn to love ourselves. We need to learn how to deny ourselves, so we can do that which does not come naturally--to truly love God and others. Our malady is not "low self-esteem," nor is it how we view ourselves rather, it is our low view of God. Our problem isn't so much a " poor self-image" as it is a "poor God-image." Our need is not to love ourselves more but to receive His incredible love for us and to accept His design and purpose for our lives. Once we have received His love, we will not have to compare ourselves to others; we will not focus on "self" at all. Instead, we will become channels of his love to others.Hm. Enlightening, isn't it? I can't wait to get into this study! This is a much better and more educated explanation than the one I wrote!
Please forgive my irresponsible use of God's Word. It is so easy to manipulate scripture to make it say what we want it to say. While I believe the message I was trying to get across is not necessarily "un-biblical", some of the terminology and scripture references I used just didn't work and I'm so sorry for this confusion.
I thank each of you who reads this blog for being so gracious as you come along on my journey. I am learning every step of the way and I'm sure this will not be the last mistake I make. I want, from the bottom of my heart, to share God's word with the utmost integrity and accuracy that I am able. May I never compromise his beautiful Truth. No matter how hard it is to read or hear--it is freedom.
For you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32