Self-care is hard for most human beings, at least those in the United States. I believe it to be especially hard for Christian leaders, because it does not seem to be a priority in the church or other Christian organizations. Whether is based out of some flawed understanding of sacrifice, the temptation to produce to please God, the rampant workaholism of the church or some other reason; its not what God has called us to. Jesus called us to self-denial, not self-abuse. God called us to love ourselves, not to neglect ourselves.
I have never quite mastered self-care for a wide variety of reasons. There have been many obstacles to self-care, most of them caused by myself and not necessarily others. Even in the cases where I might be able to blame others, if I am honest it would still come back to personal ownership. Some of the most common obstacles to a great focus on self-care for me have included:
- Ego masked as self-sacrifice
- Martyr mentality
- Lack of discipline
- Justification and excuses
- Lack of boundaries or enforcing boundaries
- Assumption that I am needed
- Identity in what I do instead of in Jesus
- Time management
- Unrealistic, unhealthy or unbiblical expectations (from me or others)
- Others that don’t come to mind at the moment…
What are the obstacles in your life that prevent you from a greater focus on self-care? Our body is a temple. We are called to love ourselves. What can you do to better care for yourself so that you can be all that God created you to be?