Practice Great Soul Care

Caitlyn ScaggsBy Caitlyn Scaggs6 Minutes

We are in the season of resolutions! Our social media feeds are undoubtedly saturated with ideas for improvement, motivational quotes, tips on maintaining New Year’s resolutions, and simply getting better. One aspect of self-improvement is an emphasis on great self-care. Maybe you’ve even resolved to practice better self-care in 2023?

There is absolutely a need to practice great self-care! It is a practical and wise way of living to ensure that you have your needs met and make time to take care of yourself. When your needs are met you are better able to care for others and meet their needs too. It is not only important for yourself but for those around you.

Self-care can be fun and lighthearted, like time with friends, but can also include moments that are unplugged and emphasize quiet and stillness. Self-care is a great thing to do! However, it can’t stop there. We must consider how we move from things that take care of our physical and emotional self and dive deeper into the practices and habits that care for our spiritual self.

Soul-Care Through Prayer

We have a fantastic example of soul-care within the pages of the Bible. Jesus himself modeled what it looks like to care for oneself beyond physical and emotional needs. In Luke 5:16 we see a great look at soul-care. Jesus was in the middle of His ministry (calling disciples, healing lepers, and teaching) and yet He still made time to withdraw to places of solitude to pray.

His behavior may seem simple but it is so telling. The most important person to ever walk this earth, the Savior of all, still took time to start His day in a Father-focused way. He connected with God, in quiet and intentional ways. Jesus urged His disciples to do the same. In Mark 6:30, they returned after ministry work and Jesus instructed them to go take time to be alone. Being alone with God to connect with Him in prayer is a beautiful act of soul-care.

Soul-Care Through Scripture

Soul-care also happens when we spend time reading the Bible and becoming more familiar with the teachings and examples found throughout scripture. In doing so, we help our minds focus on “things from above” and we receive a soul refresh as we are reminded of God’s promises and provision (Colossians 3:2). This is a great way to start each day to ensure that the minutes and hours to follow are rooted in truth and God’s goodness.

As you spend time in God’s Word you can also trust that He will use scripture to help you in your daily life. It will help shed light on tough situations, it can reframe attitudes or emotions you have, and ultimately it will refocus your eyes on Jesus. As followers of Christ, we know that when our eyes are on Jesus we are able to contend with the many storms of life in powerful ways. It is when our eyes drift from Jesus that we start to sink (Matthew 14:22-32).

Soul-Care Through Community

While much soul-care can happen by yourself, in the quiet moments of your day, there is also strength to be found in community with others. Throughout scripture, God instructs us to be part of a larger body of believers. We are not to move through life in isolation. Consider how you are intentionally cultivating relationships with others who follow Jesus. We know that iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) and therefore we should make sure we take steps to engage with others who love the Lord.

Seeking out a Christ-centered community could mean joining a Bible study or small group within your church family. It could also mean seeking out someone who you admire from a faith perspective and asking them to join you for a cup of coffee. As you engage with others who are following Jesus you will find encouragement from them and likely a new perspective. It is special and powerful when you can hear how others are experiencing the transformational power of Jesus in their own lives. We can learn from each other and encourage each other in our faith journeys.

Resolved to Love the Lord

As you move into a New Year, full of new opportunities, please consider how you are going deeper than physical and emotional care to honor who you are at a soul level. No amount of exercise or meal planning will be able to improve the God-sized needs of your heart. Take great care of yourself through prayer, reading the Bible, and through intentionally pursuing relationships with other followers of Jesus. Above all, this soul-care should be an extension of your pursuit to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind for all the days to come!