Getting Your Own Oxygen

Joyful Smile

“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Tim. 3:5, NIV).

There is a general principle at work here. It’s the same type of truth that comes into play in airplane demonstrations where the stewardess instructs you to put on your own oxygen mask first, and then help whoever else needs it. If you don’t get your own oxygen flowing, you might pass out before you could be of any use in helping others.

It’s like concentric circles. You take care of the inmost circles first, and then proper care can expand outward to the outer layers. You know, the ripple effect. Paul tells Timothy that leaders in the church will not be able to be much good in caring for God’s church if they don’t first mange their own families well.

We can take that same principle and pull it in a layer further. If we don’t nurture our own souls, how will we be able to take care of anyone else well?

How is your self care going these days? Are you getting that oxygen flowing to your own soul first? Are you resting? Are you replenishing yourself? Are you allowing God to heal the areas of your life where wounding has occurred? The Holy Spirit wants you to know: unless you do, you will be hindered in bringing to this world the full contribution that you were born to make.

With so many demands that clamor for our time, sometimes it seems impossible to take time for self care. I need to tell you, though, that is a false impression. God specifically instructs us in His Word to rest. It says He gives sleep to His beloved.

If we take Him at His word, we will pull out the oxygen mask. We will purposefully build rest and soul nurture into our routines and schedules. Just as the Israelites needed to trust God that they would have enough manna to eat if they rested on the Sabbath, we need to trust Him that all of our needs will be met if we obey His instruction to rest.

Resting flows out of trusting. Make a choice to trust; make a choice to rest.

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Is taking an entire day to rest a big step of faith for you?