When Is Self-Care Not Selfish? (#933)

So much of religious thinking preys on our fears of God or others thinking of us as selfish. That fear, however, keeps many from the self-care necessary to heal from trauma or resist the efforts of controlling people in our lives. Why is is so easy for us to cave to the pressure of religious obligations or the fear of what others might think instead of listening when our hearts and bodies are alerting us that we are moving beyond the grace God's current process transformation allows? Wayne and Kyle talk about honoring the process of what Jesus is working in you so that you won't be caught in those extreme situations that will take you beyond what you can bear. With a reference to The Matrix, they talk about those who prefer to live in the bondage of a comforting illusion than to risk what it might mean to see the truth and follow it. They also explore how the encouragement to forgiveness can be used as a weapon instead of allowing it to be the fruit of Jesus's work in us.

Podcast Notes:

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  1. Ahh this was good.
    As a 28 yr old from Perth Australia, who has been following along for a few years now, I couldn’t agree more. I really find it hard to find like minded Christian’s who haven’t swallowed the “blue” pill. In fact just to be able to meet some Christian’s who aren’t so consumed with fear, would be nice. Let’s pray more people come to understand this. Thank you for having this conversation, God bless.

    • Jessica, I know it is hard being around Christians who don’t want the truth to be the truth, but there are many who aren’t so consumed with fear and have a growing trust in Father’s love and nature. I don’t know where you are in Perth, but I have some good friends who walk in what you describe, though they are a bit older than you are. Perhaps they know some people.

  2. Hi Wayne,
    if what you say in this podcast is true, then I’m trespassing on me badly most of the time, it’s how I live. I thought this is to follow Jesus, sacrifice yourself for your family.. It feels like abuse, demanding more than I have, more than I am, cruel and merciless, always distant.
    I want to start to learn what it means to live respecting my heart, my freedom in God, I want to learn to discern what is from Him in my heart, what is His leading . So far I’ve got it wrong. I’m so bad at discerning, so confused.
    Would you pray for me please, if you have time?
    P.S. I enjoy so much the He loves me book study, thank you for it.

  3. Hi Doina. I wouldn’t think you’re bad at discerning. It’s easy to understand why our religious life has twisted our thinking about so many things. Hearing how God wants things to be can liberate us to pray as you are that you will learn to respect your heart and your freedom in God. That’s awesome. It’s not uncommon, especially for people with trauma, to trespass on themselves trying to be good for every one else. Think of it as compassion for you. You deserve at least as much compassion as you desire to share with others. I am praying that you’ll be able to see through the old ways people taught you to manipulate you and find God’s care for you and your freedom in it. And I’m glad you’re enjoying the HE LOVES ME study as well. I am too. Blessings to you.

  4. Encouraging, empowering words, hope-giving that I’m on the good track, in a normal process of growing.
    Thank you, Wayne. For your kindness, honesty and wisdom.

  5. I’d like to hear more about “trespassing myself for the sake of others”. One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Brown, Brene’s husband who said “I know that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is and not on what should or could be.” Brene called this the “assumption of positive intent” which obviously would not involve areas of sexual/physical abuse situations. Steve’s statement has inspired me in my day by day relationships with family and friends but I suppose I may need to consider if there comes a time when there is a “trespassing of myself for the sake of others?” Any thoughts on this?

    • I think it’s a great idea to give others around us the benefit of the doubt and never assume you know the motives of others. That’s an easy way to maliciously accuse people. That said, it isn’t always true that people are doing their best. That said, I do think we know when people are trespassing on our freedom by judging or pressuring us to do what they want when we don’t have it to give. Healthy relationships don’t try to fix others and certainly don’t make accusations as a way to marginalize someone. We used to say to always “believe the best” about someone, but that doesn’t always work either, especially of that person is actually trying to hurt you. All of this takes discernment, of course.

      And trespassing on ourselves is also something we’ll recognize when we’ve put ourselves in situations we don’t have the grace or resources to handle. Love lives unselfishly and is willing to go the extra mile to love and serve someone. But when our actions are not coming from a free heart, but rather an external pressure from someone else or the internal pressure of feeling obligated to something Jesus has not called us to, that’s when we can take a look inside and see if Jesus was calling us to this, or I imposed it on myself.

      It’s a journey and trial and error is the only way I know to sort that through and find our way to living in the “unforced rhythms of grace,” which is beautiful and free, even when we are laying down our lives.

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