As women today, we’re expected to place our identity in everything but in Christ. Our culture tells us to identify ourselves by our appearance, our job, or our role in life: single woman, wife, working mom. But these categories overlook all the complex facets of who God created us to be. Instead of conforming to our culture’s expectations, we should find our true identity in Christ.
So, how can you be true to your identity in Christ? It starts with knowing what it is! When you know and believe what God says about you, your actions flow from this identity, like the fruit of a tree with deep roots. Self-care is one way to grow your faith and believe that what God says about you is true. In this self-care devotional, you’ll learn how to use self-care to be true to who you are in Christ.
Self-Care to Affirm Our Identity in Christ
The way we treat and talk to ourselves is the truest reflection of what we believe about our identity.
If you don’t really take care of your physical health, you might have a low view of your body. You might not believe that your body was intricately formed and called “good” by your Creator, and that it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
If you always talk down to yourself, you might not believe that you are fully accepted in Christ. You might think you have to beat yourself up whenever you make a mistake, without realizing that God has wiped away all your sins (Isaiah 43:25).
That’s why taking better care of ourselves using self-care can help us believe in our true identity. We need to nurture our faith that what God thinks about us is the truth about us. Improving the way we treat ourselves makes it more of a lived reality.
But you don’t need to try all the self-care ideas in existence! Instead, choose just a few self-care habits to grow in. Target the areas you aren’t sure you believe, and use self-care to cultivate confidence and faith, until you know that you know that what God says about you is true.
In this self-care devotional, let’s focus on 2 truths about your identity in Christ with very practical applications for self-care: God created you, and God loves you.
1. Created: Physical Self-Care
Do you believe that your body was handmade by God and that He called it “good?” In the Psalms we see a song praising God for the wonderful way He created us:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
When I was a preteen, I didn’t believe that at all. I was very self-conscious about my physical appearance. Oddly enough, I was also a tomboy, so I didn’t care much about looking pretty or “girly.” I hated the idea of wearing makeup.
But that also meant I didn’t take care of my skin. So naturally, when puberty hit, my face frequently broke out in acne, leading to teasing from my classmates—which, of course, just made me more self-conscious!
Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
It wasn’t until a few years later that the Lord spoke to my heart during a time of worship. He called me His beautiful, precious daughter. He had even come to live inside me! I finally understood that my body was good and beautiful, because it was God who knit me together and made me His dwelling place.
Friend, these things are true of you too. You are God’s beautiful daughter! Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). So do you treat it that way?
When I grasped that my body was carefully designed by my loving Creator, I started taking better care of my physical health and appearance. That’s why one of my favorite self-care activities today is my skincare routine. (Who’s the “girly” one now!) The daily habit of cleansing and moisturizing my skin is a tangible reminder of the value of my body to God.
What about you? Do you believe that your physical health and appearance matter to God? How could you use self-care to cultivate your faith that God created you, and you are beautiful? Think about these examples of self-care habits:
- Eating a healthy, natural diet (full of fruits and vegetables!) to steward this gift of a physical body that the Lord has given you.
- Exercising consistently to support your long-term health by strengthening your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Getting enough sleep, resting and relaxing on a regular basis, and keeping the Sabbath—one day every week to stop working and rest in God’s provision.
- Taking care of the beauty God gave you as a woman, with whatever habits help you thrive: skincare, haircare, mani/pedis, home spa treatments, etc.
2. Loved: Emotional Self-Care
One of the most powerful truths about your identity in Christ is that you are loved. God loves you! It’s even in the most quoted verse in the Bible: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16).
How do we know God loves us? The clearest demonstration is that He became one of us and died for us so that we could be in relationship with Him. Jesus even hinted to His disciples that He would lay down His life because of His great love:
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13 NLT
Do you know that you know that God loves you? And do you treat yourself like the dearly loved child of God that you are?
I knew Jesus from a young age, but it wasn’t until I understood His grace that I grasped what His love meant for my daily life. As a young person, I imagined God was watching my every move to see if I sinned. If I stumbled, I thought I had to beat myself up and hang my head in shame in order for God to forgive me. I even carried this unbiblical idea into my adult life, talking down to myself whenever I made a mistake.
There is No Condemnation For Those Who Are in Christ
But a couple of years ago, God’s love became more real to me than ever, when I finally understood the meaning of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. When we put our faith in Christ, He erases all our sins and forgives us completely, because He loves us.
Grace, by definition, is undeserved and unearned, and we definitely can’t twist God’s arm into forgiving us by feeling ashamed and punishing ourselves. Grace is simply a gift that we receive by faith. And once we’ve accepted it, God relates to us always with love, no longer condemning us for our sins:
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1 NIV
How is this related to self-care? God’s love has a huge impact on the way we treat ourselves. Because God does not condemn us, we shouldn’t condemn ourselves. We should give ourselves grace, simply because God gives us grace.
God’s love heals us emotionally, teaching us how to take better care of our emotions. Hurtful events in life can make us believe that we’re not good enough, something’s wrong with us, or we’re unlovable. But in Christ, we are more than enough, God sees us as perfect, and nothing can make Him stop loving us.
In Christ, we are totally loved, fully forgiven, and completely accepted. Here are a few ideas for using self-care to build your faith that these things are true:
- Journaling to become more aware of your emotions. Use these 30 self-compassion journal prompts to learn to give yourself more grace and let go of unrealistic expectations.
- Meditating on Scripture and allowing the reality of God’s love to transform your thoughts and emotions.
- Speaking kindly to yourself instead of criticizing yourself, because God doesn’t condemn you, but sees you as perfect and holy (see Hebrews 10:14).
- Forgiving yourself for your past sins, mistakes, and regrets, because “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
- Letting go of grudges against others and forgiving them, “just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
A Self-Care Devotional
This self-care devotional about being created and loved by God is just the starting point. There are so many more facets to your identity in Christ. For example, in Christ you are adopted as a child of God (see 1 John 3:1-2); united with Christ (see Ephesians 2:6); and eternal (see John 5:24).
Do you believe that you are who God says you are? Be encouraged to use self-care to affirm and build your faith in your identity in Christ. When you know these biblical truths and treat yourself accordingly, being “true to yourself” in Christ, it will become the reality that your actions flow from.
What is your biggest takeaway from this self-care devotional? Let me know in the comments below!
Written by Sarah of Calming Grace
Sarah blogs about journaling and mindfulness at CalmingGrace.com and helps bring calm to busy, stressed minds, with God’s grace as the foundation.