We live in a bit of a “me” culture. We live at a time when people are obsessed with finding time for themselves. We post pictures on instagram of #metime or #selfcare, and I do it too! I’ve definitely posted more than one image of my bubble bath waiting for me, with a glass of red wine and a new book sitting on the side – and who can blame me, adulting is HARD WORK! Between making sure you get enough sleep, eating healthily, drinking enough water and not drinking too much of everything else, and fitting your steps in, not to mention all the other things we have to do as functioning adults just to keep our lives rolling along nicely (paying the bills, going to work, making sure our kids grow up to be functioning members of society), unfortunately, it can mean we forget the world outside of our little bubble.
I’m not saying a little self love isn’t important. I wholeheartedly believe that sometimes we have to care for ourselves, and that we are better off when we do. But God didn’t create us to be solitary beings. He definitely didn’t create us to be a living checklist of the things we need to do for ourselves. He created us to be in community with each other and to care for each other. The fact is, the very reason why we need a little self care every now and then, is the very reason why we need to be living out these Kingdom values here and now. Because life can be hard.
Matthew wrote some of the most beautiful words in the bible. They area called the Beatitudes, and they basically tell us the things that God values, and therefore what His Kingdom is based on.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t say “Blessed are the tired mum’s, for you will give to yourself a Friday night bubble bath and a glass of red wine.” I know, right? Sometimes the bible is hard hitting like that!
So, what does he value? People? Definitely! Compassion? Justice? Freedom? Love?! All of these things! That is what His Kingdom is based on.
So, while there is nothing that says we can’t care for ourselves, there is so much more that says we should be looking out for others.
Imagine all those people in the bible who were ignored by society; just not seen because they were considered “less than”. The woman at the well, the lame man waiting at the lake for healing… What a difference someone coming up to them would have made? Even if that person felt less than as well, but offered a smile and a helping hand anyway.
We can be that person. That person who lives out the values of Jesus’ Kingdom here on earth. We don’t need to be the missionary who moves to a developing country to work with communities (although we thank God for those people). Caring for a co-worker who looks a little under the weather, talking to someone who looks lonely, offering a helping hand to your new neighbour that’s moving in! Just doing what we can, with what God has blessed us with. That is showing the values of the Kingdom to our world here. These are the Kingdom values that Jesus died for, and what our world is so desperately crying out for.