TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Samson may not be the first person you think of when it comes to self-care, but hear me out. We’re talking about humility and self-care today. And if I can make sense of this… well, I’ll try.
First, Let me put in a plug for a book… “Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite devotion books. And her chapter/study on Samson and Delilah is brilliantly and thoroughly examined. I strongly recommend!!!
Okay, let’s talk about Samson. We meet Samson before he was actually born in Judges 13. He was one of three people in the Bible who were assigned a Nazirite vow from birth—the other two were Samuel and John the Baptist.
We know the story—Samson was not allowed to cut his hair, and he had Herculean strength. He was also a jokester and had a penchant for women, and that ultimately got him into trouble. But from birth, God gave Samson a divine assignment — to lead Israel from the hands of the Philistines.
And here’s how we tie the self-care into this… Part of that Nazirite vow meant Samson had to take care of himself according to God’s expectations—to not cut his hair. To be clear, his hair wasn’t tied to his strength… we aren’t dealing with a comic book action story. His hair represented obedience to God. And when he disobeyed and when he allowed himself to be put in a vulnerable position, he found himself imprisoned with his eyes gouged out. He was brought to the lowest of lows.
Let’s flip forward to the New Testament and specifically, Romans 12:1-2. It says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We don’t take Nazirite vows these days, but like Samson, we are Christians who are set apart. Our bodies are a temple—it’s not about working out and eating healthy, though those things are important. Our self-care isn’t a trip to a spa, though I’m always in favor of that. It’s about recognizing that we are no longer our own. It’s about spiritual self-care. It’s about making the words of Galatians 2:20 our own—“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” And that requires a humble spirit.
We have to mentally embrace humility in order to deny our flesh the sinful nature it craves. To put it in diet terms—we have to choose the apple over the cookie because we know that it’s a better choice for the long term.
And I feel strongly that I have to emphasize this too—our self-care includes reading our Bibles. It includes prayer. It includes turning away from things that tempt us or fill our minds and imaginations with ungodly thoughts and images. It means being careful to not be influenced as Delilah influenced Samson. And I hate writing this because I think it’s important for us to show Christian love to non-believers. But if they are influencing us rather than us influencing them—then it’s wise self-care to pray for them from a distance lest we find ourselves in a situation we shouldn’t be in…
For a Christian, self-care, and humility go hand-in-hand. We must, in a spirit of humility, shed our sinful desires and “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
Today, as you pray, thank God for the ways He’s provided for us to take care of ourselves and be nourished by His Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be spiritually strong—to take care of yourself, deny yourself, and take up your cross daily to follow Jesus.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.