Not taking care of yourself leads to burnout. (Pixabay)

Have you ever thought that taking care of yourself is selfish?

That it is noble, even holy, to neglect your body's needs in favor of taking care of others?

I'm about to say something controversial: I think that philosophy is misguided.

Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to show love to those you care about.

Why do I say that?

After all, what good does it do to others if you always show up for them tired, moody, ill-tempered or have a martyrdom complex ("Look at how I am sacrificing myself for you?")

No—loving others means self-care. Through taking care of your health, you can give your best to those you love most.

You can give them:

  • Your energy
  • Your focus
  • Your strength
  • Your edifying words
  • Your joy of the Lord!

Doesn't that sound like a better way to show up for life every day?

Doesn't it sound like a better way to show up for your loved ones?

Many people use the following scripture as instruction that it is right to neglect themselves: "Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself" (Phil. 2:3).

However, they miss the next verse: "Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil. 2:4).

Did you notice that your interests are included in this instruction as well as other people's interests? Your motive in taking care of yourself is not selfish ambition nor conceit.

Your motive is loving others and thinking highly of them enough to give them your best.

It's a situation in which you both win, not "they win, you lose."

Making daily choices to protect your health is a wise, loving thing.

This is the same principle as putting the oxygen mask on yourself first on an airplane in an emergency. You can't help anyone if you're passed out!

If you've ever thought that taking time for making healthy meals and exercise is selfish, then I hope you see that it is the opposite.

My question is, why do so many Christians seem to think that it is wrong to pay attention to your health? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

To me, your motivation for making wise choices makes the difference!

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify to God's healing power to end binge-eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

This article originally appeared at

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