“It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

In recent years, the concept of self-care has gained immense popularity, becoming a pervasive trend in modern culture. It’s common to encounter social media posts featuring manicures, skincare routines, and indulgent treats, often accompanied by hashtags like #selfcare or #selflove.

Self-care advocates argue that taking care of oneself is essential for maintaining mental, emotional, and physical well-being. While the idea of taking care of oneself is not inherently sinful, it’s essential to question the self-care narrative’s compatibility with biblical teachings. 

Can the idea of self-care be reconciled with the teachings of the Bible, or is it fundamentally at odds with the Christian faith? In this blog post, we’ll explore the topic of self-care from a biblical perspective with the hope of discovering a scripturally rooted approach to caring for oneself.

Is Self-Care Biblical?

If you’re anything like me, then you’re eerily cautious of riding the wave of the culture. Not being overly spiritual or anything, but I’ve been a Christian long enough to learn that anything popular within the culture tends to run counter to the Gospel. Romans 12:1-2 springs to mind whenever buzzwords such as self-love, self-care, etc. come up.

So, what exactly is self-care?

Self-care, as commonly understood, revolves around actions and practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This can include activities such as exercise, relaxation, healthy eating, and engaging in hobbies. These things are great but there’s more.

A deeper exploration of self-care online reveals an array of techniques aimed at introducing structure and discipline into one’s “me-time,” refocusing your attention on yourself, mindfulness, and searching within for joy, and rest.

Furthermore, a glance at social media reveals that modern culture often equates self-care with indulgent practices like pampering oneself, getting mani-pedis, going on spa dates, embarking on extravagant shopping sprees, luxurious vacations, among other things. 

Taking care of ourselves is undoubtedly wise. But the self-care trend seems to contradict what Jesus taught when He said. “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” (Luke 17:33). In light of this, many aspects of the self-care craze seem to encourage plain old self-indulgence. Not to mention, the prioritization of self-comfort.

The more I delve into it, the more it becomes apparent that self-care is fundamentally a secular, humanistic concept not grounded in Scripture. It’s often infused with hedonistic ideals and glorifies the self above all else. This is where my primary concern lies. 

In retrospect, the term “self-care” perfectly captures the culture of our day. A culture that seems to promote the worship and the elevation of the self at every turn. 

Considering that the modern concept of self-care and self-love is not in alignment with biblical principles, I hold the view that self-care, in its essence, is not biblical.

I also question whether there can be a distinctly “Christian” or “biblical” form of self-care, as the concept itself is secular and lacks roots in God’s Word. In my opinion, trying to come up with a Christian way of doing self-care is an unnecessary attempt to adapt God’s word to suit modern culture. 

A pink cup of cocoa and a green leaf nest to a paper written self-care isn't selfish on a table.

Related: Self Love: What Does the Bible Say About it?

The Biblical Perspective

Contrary to self-care, the Bible emphasizes self-denial and sacrificial love for others. In Mark 8:34-35, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” 

From this verse, it’s evident that one cannot simultaneously live for Christ and oneself. And the truth is, we lose our spiritual fervor when we sate our appetites for worldly pleasures and luxuries of whatever type. 

Philippians 2:3-4 also encourages believers to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” 

Undoubtedly, the focus on selflessness and putting others’ needs ahead of one’s own contrasts with the self-centered nature of modern self-care. The Bible instead, places a significant emphasis on the concepts of sacrifice and servanthood, rather than personal comfort.

Furthermore, the Bible does not shy away from the reality of suffering. Suffering and endurance are frequently highlighted as integral parts of the Christian journey. James 1:2-4 encourages believers to, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 

The Bible recognizes the value of enduring challenges since God uses them to help us grow and strengthen our character. This perspective stands in stark contrast with the idea of avoiding discomfort and pain, which is often associated with self-care.

A Biblical Approach to Caring for Oneself

To make it clear, I’m not in any way advocating for Christians to serve others at the expense of their health and happiness. There is a distinction to be made between forsaking oneself to love someone and regularly ignoring your spirit and body. The Bible doesn’t advocate for the latter.

Instead, it acknowledges the importance of caring for one’s body, which is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20). But the idea is stewardship, not self-indulgence. 

We honor God, not only by denying ourselves and laying down our lives for others, but also by taking care of ourselves.

Godly stewardship of our bodies looks like resting when we’re tired. It also means feeding our bodies well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and other activities that enhance our well-being. The fact is, we are better equipped to serve God and others when we are well taken care of.

Moreover, as Christians, we have the liberty to enjoy some of these worldly niceties. Thanks to the freedom we have in Christ, we are free to schedule a night away, go on a hike, get a manicure, spend an evening at home with candles, read a nice book, and so on. These activities are not sinful in and of themselves.

However, it’s important to recognize that none of these pursuits should be the source of our ultimate fulfillment. While they can bring enjoyment, they cannot provide the lasting joy and true rest that our souls deeply crave.

We can indeed find delight in these activities, but our hearts should remain steadfastly focused on the Lord.

Similarly, no amount of “me-time,” mindfulness, self-reflection, or other secular practices will bring genuine peace. If we desire genuine and enduring joy, we must fix our gaze on Jesus, not ourselves (John 15:4-5). If anything, being encouraged to look within yourself for fulfillment is nothing short of an encouragement to idolize oneself.

Where Do We Find True Rest and Peace?

It’s crucial to recognize that true and lasting rest can only be found in God. While self-care practices offer relief and relaxation, it’s often often temporary.

In contrast, God provides a profound and enduring source of rest for the soul (Psa 23:1-3). His presence offers solace in times of turmoil, a refuge in moments of despair, and an unwavering source of strength when we are weary (Isaiah 40:31). 

In Psalm 62:5-6, we are reminded, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”

In God, we discover a refuge that transcends the fleeting comforts of self-care and leads us to a deeper, more profound rest that nourishes our spirits and brings lasting peace to our souls.

Moreover, Jesus extends a loving invitation to those who labor and are burdened. He says,

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

In the book of Philippians, Paul also encourages us not to be anxious but to bring our concerns to God in prayer, promising that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

As we turn to Christ in prayer, seeking His presence, and casting our burdens upon Him, we find solace, strength, and the assurance that He is in control. This allows us to experience a rest that surpasses all understanding. This is a sense of peace that no self-care practice can replicate.

Because here’s the thing, the challenges that we face in our finite bodies in this fallen world are intended to remind us of our need for God. We were never meant to look within ourselves for comfort but toward our loving, merciful, and omnipotent God.


Caring for ourselves as Christians involves stewardship of our bodies and well-being, but it is not about self-indulgence. It’s about honoring God by taking care of the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is our body. While we are granted the freedom to enjoy some of the self-care practices, it’s essential to remember that these cannot meet the deepest needs of our souls.

Ultimately, true fulfillment and lasting joy can only be found in God’s presence. Something that no self-care practice can give.


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