Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Is It Christian to Take Care of Yourself before Others?

Maureen Pratt Author PicWe are fast approaching the most profoundly Christian time of the year, Holy Week and Easter, during which we will hear again about Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, death on the cross, which redeemed us, washing away our sin and opening up for us life everlasting. What an amazing love! What an amazingly selfless act. Thank you, Lord.

As Christians committed to practicing our faith, living our our lives as Jesus asks us to, we want to care for, to love, and to give to others. But living with a serious illness or ongoing, crushing pain can make this difficult, especially if our health needs are all-consuming of time, energy, and other resources such as money.  And, as we all know, doing too much, even if we want to, can run us into the ground and compromise the fragile lives we have in safekeeping, gifts from God.

Advertisement

Yes, we are called to be right there with able-bodied others, ready to help and sacrifice.

But how much is too much? Are we called to make a shambles of our own health, finances, or job situation so we can reach out to others?

Clearly, in Scripture there are examples of people with little (health, money, etc.) who gave of their scant resources. The widow who gave her precious coin, for example. But Jesus also showed us that it is important to take care of your own strength, resilience, health, and, where it is impossible for you to act, to find others who can step in.

Where does He do this?

First, there are several examples in Scripture of where Jesus retreated from his ministry walk and from the crowds that followed him. In Matthew 4:1-12, Jesus went to the desert to pray and fast, not into the city to preach. There, he was tempted, but resisted the temptation. And, after he was refreshed and ready, he began his ministry.

Advertisement

Jesus had been healing and preaching, drawing great numbers of people, when, in Luke 6:12-13, he “departed to the mountain to pray,” leaving behind his disciples. Again, in Matthew 14:23, after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus, “went up on the mountain by himself to pray.”

So important was prayer and renewal to Jesus that he left everyone around him so he could focus on just that.

What am amazing lesson this is for us! We need to be sure not to neglect the things so very important for our strength and ability to walk our Christian walks – we need to take care of ourselves, sometimes, before we are able to have the tools to take care of others.

Another very powerful aspect of what Our Lord shows us about caring for others is expressed when he is near death, hanging on the cross, no doubt in excruciating pain. There, beneath the cross, is his beloved Mother. Mary has been with him throughout his life, especially on his walk to Calvary. And now, she will be left alone.

Advertisement

Jesus could have come down off the cross and cared for her himself, or he could have given his Mother a palace and servants to see that she was taken care of. (In any situation, God can do anything.)  But, instead, Jesus turned to “the disciple whom he loved,” and said to Mary, “‘Woman, behold your son.'” He then turned to his disciple and said, “‘Behold your mother.'” In doing this, Jesus shows us another way of providing for others when it is impossible for us to do so ourselves. It, too, is a great act of love.

There are no easy answers as to how much we should give when we might suffer negative consequences ourselves. But that we pray over our decisions and seek God’s wisdom is vital to the integrity of the decisions we make.

God will, of course, take care of us, His beloved children. And besides His grace and strength, He gives us  practical tools and good hearts and minds to steady that precarious balance of our abilities and needs and those of others.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

 

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Happy Fourth of July!
I have always loved the Fourth of July. As a student of Early American History, I especially like revisiting the events surrounding the Declaration of Independence and framing of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the remarkable men and women who ...

posted 1:34:55am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: What If You Didn't Have God?
Sometimes, when we're very ill or our pain is overwhelming, we might get to the point where God seems to not exist actively in ...

posted 11:34:47pm Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

It Doesn't Take Much to Care
Martyrs and missionaries make astounding sacrifices each day to bring the Gospel and God's love to others. They commit themselves to monumental tasks, knowing that they are giving their lives over to serving and, sometimes, dying for others and ...

posted 7:34:08pm Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: Discerning Who to Tell What
As we journey through our lives with chronic pain and illness, we undoubtedly will come across people who ask us "How are you?" Some are truly caring and want to be empathetic and/or reach out with help. Others are being polite, but might not be ...

posted 7:21:50pm Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Freshening up the Daily Routine
Like many of you, my days begin with much of the same routine, mostly involving health activity. Stretching, medications, setting up for the day ahead (sun protective clothing or not?) - it can feel as if each day begins with the same old thing. ...

posted 1:16:47am Jun. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.