How much thought do you give to your soul? Self-care is really soul-care. Everything in this life will pass away, but our souls will be with Jesus.
When we meet Jesus, what condition will our souls be in?
Will we continue to beat our souls for past sin that Christ paid for? Will we continue to devalue our souls because someone used us for their sinful appetite? Will we continue to flog our souls for not being enough? Will we continue to submit our souls to the miserable forces of this world?
Soul-care is taking time to examine ourselves before the Lord.
While doing this for myself, I wrote the Abuse Survivor’s 23rd Psalm. As I sat before the Lord, I thought about my unique relationship with my Savior. I’m not a shepherd. I’m not tending to sheep. But, I am an abuse survivor. Surviving emotional, physical, and sexual abuse shaped my identity. It shaped my perspective of the world. It shaped how I experience others. It shaped how I came to know Jesus.
I needed Jesus to be Light for me. He’s the standard that I use when understanding what is appropriate behavior and what is sinful behavior. There is no darkness in Him. He is Light. The definition of Light is the absence of darkness. It doesn’t matter how his day went. He never gets angry with me because He’s tired, overworked, offended by someone else, frustrated with the normal frustrations of daily life in a fallen world, etc. He never flies off the handle. He never tells me to “run away from home”. He ever loses his temper.
God never ever tells me something that is untrue about who I am.
Soul-care is uncovering the false things that people have told you and realizing the false things that YOU TELL YOURSELF.
God is good. God is Light. God restores. God saves. God gives good gifts.
Take time to examine your natural talents that God gave you. Thank him for creating you with these natural talents. Consider your physical traits. Our bodies are marvelous. We move, dance, give birth… etc. Thank God for what your body is able to do.
Take time to be honest with yourself about your physical, mental, and emotional handicaps? List out what you believe to be disadvantages due to your background, education, or current circumstances.
Then consider how God may be using these weaknesses to bring glory to himself. God wants to restore us. I’ve battled depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. When God wins the battle over anxiety in my life, I praise Him. When I looked myself in the mirror and I said, “I’m not dirty.” and for the first time, I believed it. I praised Him. Through studying the scriptures, I understand who I am in Christ. Finding out that I am a Co-heir with Christ, to be treated like the first born, that I have an inheritance, my heart over-flowed with thanksgiving. I’m a nobody in this world, but God loves me.
Chew on Hebrews 11:6,
He rewards those who earnestly seek him. What? You must believe that he exists AND that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Here’s an article that has a little more to say about our identity in Christ: Identity in Christ Verses in the Bible.
Tip #5 Memorize Scripture
We can’t win the battle over anxiety by continuing to think the way we’ve always thought. We must change how we think. Memorizing scripture gives us the weapons to combat anxiety. I love this list from the above website. I’ve memorized all of these. They help me to battle anxiety with truth instead of emotion.
As with everything we do, take it one step at a time. Go slow. Take a verse a week. Take 2 weeks. It doesn’t matter. There’s no time frame. There’s no right way or wrong way. Just do it. Memorize a few verses and put me to the test.
There is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1)
We can never be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:39)
We who are many form one body (Romans 12:5)
We have wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We become God’s children (Galatians 3:26)
We have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
We have the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7)
We were also chosen (Ephesians 1:11)
We are for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:12)
We have been seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
We’ve been given the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)
We who were once far away have been brought near (Ephesians 2:13)
We are built together as a holy building (Ephesians 2:22)
We may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
We are light (Ephesians 5:8)
Our joy overflows (Philippians 1:26)
All our needs are met according to his glorious riches (Philippians 4:19)
We are holy and faithful (Colossians 1:2)
All things hold together (Colossians 1:17)
We have our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
We become fully mature (Colossians 1:28)
Are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge for us (Colossians 2:3)
We are rooted and built up (Colossians 2:7)
We have been given the fullness of the deity (Colossians 2:9-10)
We come into reality (Colossians 2:17)
Our life is now hidden (Colossians 3:3)
We will rise from the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
We can give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
We have faith, hope, and love (1Timothy 1:1, 14)
We can gain an excellent standing and great assurance (1 Timothy 3:13)
We have the promise of life (2 Timothy 1:1)