Daily Devotion

December 4, 2015

Learn to take care of yourself (2)

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Ps 23:5 NIV

There are two kinds of people who’ll never understand your need to take care of yourself: (1) Legalists. They never stop trying to measure up to certain perfectionistic moral, ethical, and religious standards. (2) Serve-a-holics. They sacrifice themselves on the altar of endless church activity, believing it’s the only way to please God. Some of Jesus’ disciples did this. When a woman poured expensive oil on His head they got upset. How come? Had they never read the words, “You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows”? In Bible times oil was used for different purposes such as soothing, massaging, and refreshing the body after a long journey or a hard day’s work. “So God thinks it’s okay for me to take a break?” you ask. Yes, but since serve-a-holics have a need to be needed, like the disciples they think, “This [oil] might have been sold for much, and [the money] given to the poor” (Mt 26:9). Their belief system is: “Others matter—I don’t!” Understand this: When you take care of others but not yourself, you (a) become spiritually and emotionally drained; (b) end up resentful because your needs go unrecognized and unmet; (c) start looking for relief in the wrong places. That’s what drove Samson to Delilah’s house. She gave him a place to relax and let down his hair; then she exploited it for his destruction. When we look to the wrong people and things rather than learning to care for ourselves, we give a foothold to the Enemy. Don’t let that happen to you. Start taking care of yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally.