This post is part of a series on self-care from the perspective of self-care in Christ. How do I care for the person who God says I am?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself.
I’ve been paying a lot of attention to teachers and preachers who talk about unity in the body. When scripture tells us that we are a new creation, what does that mean?
I know that it means that that the old me – my old ways of thinking, past sins, etc. – are not who I am anymore. I am no longer defined by anything other than Jesus. It also means that all I am living for is Christ. Nothing else matters more. I am living for Him and, therefor, living like Him.
And what does that look like? It looks like being the Body of Christ. I am not the full body, but one of many parts that compose the body of Christ.
Let’s just camp on that for a moment.
Before Jesus’ time, the presence of Christ resided in the temple. The Glory of God was so powerful and beyond us that humans could not enter the center of the temple. And then Jesus. And now WE are the temple – we are each part of the body that houses the Glory of the Lord!
People, that is HUGE!
And if that is who I am in Christ, then how am I to care for myself? How am I to treat an actual part of the Body of Christ? What kind of love and care would you give to Jesus if you were looking directly into His eyes? He is within us, friends! We are His dwelling place – His temple. And if you don’t know what type of care went into the temple in the Old Testament then you may want to revisit 1 Chronicles 28. There were some very specific instructions.
So, where are the instructions for self-care in the Bible? What does it look like to care for myself as a new creation? I think it starts with how I see myself. I’m still exploring a deeper understanding of being part of the Body of Christ. I want to grasp that idea and studying that meaning is self-care for me, personally.
Seeing other believers as part of my Savior’s body is one way I can care for myself. That helps me release some of the anger, judgment, pain, and bitterness I experience in relationship. And letting go of those things is a huge act of caring for myself.
Another way I care for myself is letting go of things to be done that are not for me to do. I am not the entire Body of Christ – I am just one part. There are jobs for me to do and it is good for me to do them. But, there are jobs that I am not called to do. I have to tell myself often, “just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should” (yay, growth!). I am made with a purpose and stepping out of my own purpose causes burnout and takes away from other parts of the body. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I can’t be a hand and an eyeball on the same body all at one time. Something isn’t going to work right!
What part of the body do you see yourself being? What parts are you trying to be that you weren’t created for? How have you been created anew by Jesus?