I was sitting in the home of a kind, elderly lady recently. She was relaxing there in her big, cozy chair with a blanket spread across her lap. And she had a pleasant smile on her face.
We had a great talk. After a while, I held her hand and prayed with her. Then, as I was getting up to leave, she looked at me and offered the following advice: "Take care of yourself so you can take care of others."
I can't stop thinking about what she said. It won't leave my mind. She said it in such a way that it really hit home with me.
If we're going to take care of families, friends, churches, and hurting people, we've got to begin with making sure that we're ok. It's a simple fact that we can't help bring wellness into the lives of others if we don't have it ourselves. And we've got to accept the fact that it's ok for us to take care of ourselves.
1. Let us take care of ourselves physically. Eat healthy. Exercise. Get plenty of sleep. When we do these things, we will physically be able to be present and helpful for those who need us.
2. Let us take care of ourselves emotionally. Talk with someone you trust about how you feel and what you think. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you. If necessary, see a counselor who can help you work through things you feel and think. When we do these things, we are emotionally at a point where we can assist those who need us.
3. Let us take care of ourselves spiritually. Spend time in prayer. Read God's Word. Get alone daily with an edifying devotional book. When we do these things, we will be able to encourge spiritually those who need us.
It's just a simple fact of life. We can't give away what we don't have ourselves. So let's remember it's ok, and even necessary, for us to take care of ourselves. Then, and only then, can we be at our best to take care of other people.