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3 Ways Jesus Practiced Self-Care

by | Sep 11, 2023 | Living in the Next Phase, Self Care

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3 Ways Jesus Practiced Self-Care

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month. As moms nothing makes us feel more guilty than the thought we should take a break from caring for others and look after our own physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We think if we are not so beat down we can hardly get out of bed every morning, we are not doing enough.

We neglect going to the doctor, while making sure our kids and parents are current on all of their health care needs. We feel guilty if we struggle with depression and/or anxiety, thinking they are examples of defects in our character, so we dig deeper and serve harder without relief. We serve in the church nursery and head committees at church without taking breaks to nurture our own spirituality. We do favors for others and let our resentment build.

But this is not the example of Christ. It is time to drop that guilt! Jesus practiced self-care. Read on and find out how Jesus modeled self-care?

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Jesus Practiced Self-Care
3 Ways Jesus Practiced Self-Care 6

Jesus Practiced Self-Care

#1 Way Jesus Practiced Self-Care: Time with Close Friends and Confidants

Jesus spent a lot of time with the masses. He spent a lot of time ministering, healing, comforting, and teaching. But, he also spent time with 12 men who were his deepest, closest confidants. He spent even more time with a handful of the disciples. He also nurtured close relationships with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and others. He did not spend all of his time in the public eye or ministering.

His closest friends were Peter, James, and John. There are several times when Jesus was with them without the other disciples. Did the other disciples feel slighted? I don’t know. But Jesus sought out these close relationships and I don’t think he allowed himself to wring his hands or lose sleep worrying about how “it looked.”

He took only Peter, James, and John to the Transfiguration and told them not to tell anyone what they saw until after he was raised from the dead. I presume this meant the other 9 disciples as well.

he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.

Luke 9:28

After the Transfiguration, they stayed the night on the mountain together before going back to the crowds. I have thought in the past maybe the event was a walk to the spot and back in maybe a few hours. They spent the night camping together.

The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.

Luke 9:37

He took only Peter, James, and John into the house to see Jairus’s daughter.

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

Luke 8:51

On the night of his arrest he took all of the disciples to the Mount of Olives to pray, but took only Peter, James, and John further to share more of his feelings.

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Luke 26:37-38

#2 Way Jesus Practiced Self-Care: Time Alone

Jesus liked the mountains and the lake. He spent time at both alone and with small groups. People often tracked him down while he was retreating or met him immediately after, but he took time to refresh and to pray out of sight of others. The fully human Jesus was fully human. Other than during the temptation period, he took time to eat and he took time to rest. He took time to grieve. He took time to pray alone.

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.

Matthew 13:1

When Jesus heard that his friend and cousin John the Baptist had been killed,

he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.

Matthew 14:13

After the feeding of the 5000,

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,….

Matthew 14:23

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Luke 5:15-16

#3 Way Jesus Practiced Self Care: Setting Boundaries

Jesus set boundaries. He set them with the crowds. He set them with the Pharisees who followed him around and played “try to stump the prophet.” He set them with his own disciples.

Jesus was not a pushover. He gave his body for sacrifice on his own terms and on his own timing. He allowed the Pharisees and the Romans to crucify him. And then he proved to them, it actually was not possible to kill him.

He ruined their games of questioning him and hunting him. He was always in control and they never crossed his boundaries until he removed them.

This is not permission to go around with a “speak to the hand,” “I don’t care about anyone but me” attitude. We are definitely called to be kind and forgiving and even long-suffering at times.

But you are not being un-Christian if you set boundaries. No one has permission to consistently expect you to yield to their will, whims, and wants. It is ok to say “no.” It is ok to say, “I can’t do that right now.” It is ok to say, “I have a doctor’s or hair dresser appointment or a lunch date I can’t move.” It is ok to say, “I I find what you are saying hurtful.”

Jesus took a whip and turned over tables in the temple courts to show his indignation over the cheating merchants who assembled there. He told the Pharisees they were wrong. Probably not a good idea to literally turn over tables, but if you or someone else is being abused, you may object.

When we don’t set boundaries and enforce them, it can lead to the very bad habit of being passive aggressive. Trying to get our way through emotional manipulation is not setting boundaries. It is violating someone else’s boundaries. Attempt to be gently honest and if you cannot negotiate something that is not over the line for you, step away for a season or longer.

Jesus prioritized and practiced self-care in various ways. He nurtured meaningful relationships with close friends, sought solitude, and confidently set boundaries around himself, Jesus serves as a powerful example for us all, not only through his acts of compassion and service, but also by taking care of his human self.

Embrace your own self-care and print out our FREE pdfs of Jesus Practiced Self-Care Verses and Nightly Self Care Rituals.

More Self-Care Posts:

10 Midlife Self-Care Ideas

7 Ways to Overcome Midlife Crisis as a Woman

Give Yourself the Gift of 4:15

Best of luck and fellow mama love from Mel and Laura as you send your students to back to school this year!! We are here with teen, high school, college preparation and more parent tips and resources for the entire year as well as empty nesting, parenting your parents, and everything Next Phase!

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