Intentional Self-Care

Text: 2 Corinthians 7:1
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God. (NRSV)

Not only are we to be intentional about our relationship with God by making it our aim to please him in all circumstances, but we are also to be intentional about being holy.  The slight difference I see in these too things, seeking to please God and being holy, is that the first pertains to our interactions with others and, the second, pertains to our interactions with our own self.

Paul talks about cleansing ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit.  This is a conversation about how we treat our own body and our own spiritual life.  What we put in our bodies matter.  When we do not care for ourselves by taking care of our bodies, we become less effective at living the life to which God has called us.  This does not only pertain to what we eat and drink but, how much sleep we get, how much stress we allow our minds to endure, how much stress we put our bodies under.

We all know that our attitudes/moods change and we react to others differently when we have not gotten proper sleep or if we are under stress that we have not taken the time to deal with.  The same is true for our spiritual lives.  If we focus on things that are worldly and get caught up in the lies and deceit of those who would have us “worship” some personality instead of God, we will begin to allow that very darkness to fill our own spirits.

I guess another way to say that we need to be intentional about our bodies and our spirits is that we must be intentional about how we care for our physical and mental selves so that we make our holiness perfect in the fear of God.

Do you treat your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit with respect? (see 2 Corinthians 6:16).  Is your mind given over to the things of God and not the things of this world?

Pray with me:

God, I desire to be perfected in holiness as I walk in the light of your Son.  I pledge myself to you in both body and spirit as I seek to be intentional about keeping my body and my mind from being defiled by the things of this world.  AMEN.

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