So, which is it? As Christians, do we practice soul care or self-care? What if I told you that not only can we practice both, but that we actually should practice both! The truth is, God cares most about the posture of our hearts. However, don’t be fooled, there is a difference between the two types of care and one of them provides far greater benefits!
Self-Care is Needed
Self-care is important, it allows for us to listen to our bodies as they go through their daily operational check to make sure we are in full-working condition. Sometimes our bodies may feel tense and alert us that we need to de-stress maybe through exercise, a massage, a walk, or simply a slower-paced morning. We may need time alone to decompress and process our thoughts through journaling, listening to music, a day on the golf course, or a conversation with a trusted friend. Self-care is a necessary need we all have as humans; it addresses our fleshly needs and allows us to care for our human bodies. Notice I said that it addresses our fleshly needs and that all of the self-care practices rely on us to fix the problem. We must take an action to experience relief. Self-care is focused on the self.
However, self-care can only take Christian believers so far. Why? Because we have a soul that is filled with the Holy Spirit and its main source of nutrition and life is time with the Father!
Soul Care is Essential
Enter, soul care!
Soul care takes self-care a step further, tending to focus on the heart issue. What is going on within me that I need bring to the foot of the cross? Soul care relies on Christ! Taking time regularly to open our hearts honestly before the Lord as we invite Him to seek and reveal, keeps our hearts, minds, and souls aligned with Him. He who is perfect in every way, abounding grace, and giver of all we need (2 Corinthians 9:8, Christian Standard Bible). He is the perfect soul care.
Everything we do or speak stems from the condition of our souls, revealing from the inside out just how we are doing, really. If we are not caring for our souls, we are completely missing not just the importance of them but also the miracle that we have them! Our souls are what unite us to our Father in Heaven and keep us anchored through the joyous and challenging seasons.
Bring Your Heart to the Father
Scripture says, “For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8, Christian Standard Bible). Next time before you jump to the conclusion that your situation will be remedied by a quick manicure, massage, or morning on the course, pause and bring your heart to your Father who heals, comforts, and restores (Psalm 94:19). And you never know, you may enjoy that self-care session even more once your soul has been well cared for!
Self-care and soul care both recognize human brokenness, they both play a role in caring for our bodies and minds well but soul care is the only kind of care that brings whole healing and freeing relief — A Freedom only found in Christ!