Spiritual Self Care
Your spirit needs self care just as much as your physical body does. Being “busy” is not an excuse for not taking the time to do spiritual self care. On the contrary, it just means that you may need to do a little extra planning or work a little harder to turn some beneficial actions into habits.
Spiritual self care at its root is connecting with God privately and corporately in relationship. Relationship at its core is simply talking and listening, back and forth.
Talking to God
Talking to God is usually the easier part of the two main components of relationship. Still, it doesn’t always happen automatically. You need a specific time set aside to talk to God. For some people, this may mean making an appointment in your calendar just like you write down your doctor’s appointments. For others, it may come a little more naturally, either through practice or personality.
Take some time to talk to God. This is what a lot of people typically call “prayer.” You can do this either out loud or silently in your head, although I don’t recommend doing all of your talking to God silently. You can talk to God about anything because He cares about everything about you.
What ever you do for a living, even if you don’t get paid (as in being a homemaker), you don’t want to leave out talking to God about your business. You may want to set aside a specific time each morning, or set aside time before each meal, or set an alarm on your computer or smartphone for a few minutes throughout the day, whatever works for you. For this private talking time, it works best if you have solitude and quiet.
Listening to God
Listening to God seems to be the harder aspect of our relationship with God. Listening needs to involve reading God’s word in some form. The word of God is likened to spiritual food. (See 1 Peter 2:2, Heb. 5:13-14.)
For most people that means they need to interact with God’s word on a daily basis. Exactly how you interact with God’s word is a personal matter, but it usually involves reading, memorizing, meditating, or studying.
I recommend getting into a quiet place alone and reading God’s word until you hear from God—until something “jumps out” at you. Stop and do something with that verse; turn it into a prayer, meditate on it, obey it.
There is a listening to God that is apart from His written word as well. God likes to speak to His children all day long in various ways. Pay attention to your dreams, to sermons, preachers and songs on the radio, Christian articles, but also commercials, billboards, headlines, nature, what your friend is saying, your own intuition—pay attention to everything.
If you have been in the habit of reading God’s word, you probably already have a good idea of what God sounds like with His still, small voice. Compare what He seems to be saying to you in these other ways with the scriptures themselves and with what you know He sounds like.
If you don’t know what He sounds like yet, that’s o.k., but you will need to cultivate that. Hearing God is like a muscle and just like any other muscle, it needs to be exercised or practiced.
Corporate ways to strengthen your spirit
Fellowship with other believers is important. The most convenient and often the best way to do this is to attend an organized traditional church. For some people, this could be a home group meeting. The point is that you need to get together with other believers on a regular basis where you can worship, pray together and study God’s word. All three of these are needed and you may need two or three places to get them all. Make sure there is that talking and listening back and forth, with God and others.
In what area does your spiritual self care need the most improvement? What one thing can you start doing today to make it better? Leave your answers in the comment section at the bottom of the page.