what is soul care?
Unlike the short-term pleasures of self-care, soul care has eternal benefits. God created our souls and provided us with instructions to care for them. Deuteronomy 4:9 encourages us to, “Take care, and keep your soul diligently”.
How can we care for our souls?
The primary way we care for our souls is through a personal relationship with the Lord. To “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Deut 6:5). No relationship will grow without communication, so we deepen our relationship with God and care for our souls by spending time in God’s Word. His Word speaks truth to us and we respond by memorizing and meditating. Deuteronomy 11:18 encourages us to, “take these words of mine to heart and to soul”. Psalm 10:7 tells us, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul”.
Our relationship with God is often expressed as worship. Psalm 103:1 encourages us to, “Bless the LORD, my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name”. Psalm 116:7 instructs us to worship by remembering what the Lord has done for us, “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Choosing to focus on God and thank Him for who He is builds up our souls. We also worship God when we acknowledge that He provides for our needs and our cravings, “God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You” (Psalm 63:1).
Surrendering and asking the Lord for help is yet another form of soul care, “you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut 4:29). Acknowledging that we can’t do everything ourselves is a great way to ease our souls. Thankfully, God promises to, “meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).
How God cares for our souls
Sometimes our efforts fail, and our souls grow weary and need God’s restoration. The fragrant bubble bath recommended by self-care is pleasant but does nothing to heal my soul. Only God can “restore our souls and lead us on paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:3). God offers us protection and assistance, “Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20). The Lord is gracious to us and heals us, “As for me, I said, “LORD, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” (Psalm 41:4) Jesus promises that we can learn from Him and we will find rest for our souls, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS” (Matthew 11:29). God cares for our souls and offers us the rest and restoration that we long for.
Practice the best care
Thankfully, we don’t have to abandon all of our self-care practices. But we would be wise to focus on the best self-care – caring for our souls. So, take the bubble bath while you enjoy some worship music. Eat your cookies as you discover God in the pages of scripture. Light the scented candle and meditate on the word of God. Sit in silence and bring your concerns to the Lord who is able to bring healing to your soul.
Related Media Items
Fresh Wind | Where Our Longings Lead, Craig Smith
Real. Messy. New. | Change Your Mind – Change Your Life, Craig Smith
Anchor + Waves Podcast | Self Care: How About Soul Care?, Stacy Ludwig + Brooke Gage
Uncharted Podcast | Leading Through Self-Care, Neil Eukel + Dave Hunt
Credit :: Lillian Dehn
🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
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