If someone asked you, “How are you doing?,” would you wonder where to begin? Do you sometimes question if you have too many balls in the air?
Currently all my balls in the air are wonderful—stimulating seminary classes; satisfying small group Bible studies (two of them!); exciting opportunities to share God’s wisdom through writing, speaking, and meeting with women to encourage and offer spiritual direction; friends; family; and a “Gerber baby” grandchild.
But as I look at how full life is, I have to ask myself some probing questions. Perhaps you need to do the same.
- Am I investing my time, energy, and spiritual passions in the wisest manner?
- Does God want me to stop and assess—and perhaps rethink—my priorities?
- Does He want me to better care for myself spiritually, physically, and emotionally, in a more intelligent and thoughtful way?
What elements of care should we examine? Let me share some with you:
In John 15:4, Jesus said, “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”
How do you remain, abide, rest in Christ the Vine so that fruit flows from your life?
What spiritual disciplines do you practice that draw you into the presence of Christ—prayer, listening, meditating, journaling, reading the Word, solitude, and silence?
Physical health: Genesis 1 tells us that everything God made was good. That includes our bodies! Whether you like your shape or not, your body is a gift from God. It is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139: 13–16). It is a temple of the Holy Spirit through which we honor God (l Corinthians 6:19–20).
In light of this: What priority do you give to exercise? (I’m speaking to myself here!)
How much sleep are you committed to each night?
What thought do you give to your diet and weight?
Are you valuing and caring for the one body you’ve been issued?
Philippians 4:1-9 is packed with practical principles for emotional health. God knows we struggle, and He hasn’t left us without divine resources. Here’s a brief list of ways to improve your emotional health; be sure to study the chapter yourself and pray over what stands out to you:
REJOICE in the Lord always. Don’t focus on the problem, but on the Problem Solver.
PRAY and thank Him for His power to work in you and through you.
THINK about what is true (not your fears or assumptions), and focus on what is right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy.
CULTIVATE CONTENTMENT, rejecting words and attitudes of discontent.
COUNT on God to give you the strength you need to do what He calls you to do.
Other means to health you might want to practice:
- Not overloading yourself with commitments (Decide ahead of time how many projects, committees, nights out, etc., are healthy for you and your family)
- Before agreeing to take something on, making it a matter of prayer for three days (or whatever time frame is best for you)
- Meeting with a spiritual friend monthly to talk about your journey with Christ
- Meeting with a counselor if you recognize that your emotions trigger anger, depression, or emotional pain
- Cultivating and making time for fun with friends. Laughter is vital for health
With the years flying past, I am more and more aware that God has given us only ONE LIFE to live. This life is a precious gift and a holy responsibility. God wants us to live it for Him with joy, passion, and fulfillment. But for this to happen, we need to take care of ourselves.