by | Jan 25, 2024 | Emotional Health, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Self-Care

Today Jaime Hlavin kicks off a series of posts about mental and emotional health. Our inner life dictates what our outer life can handle responsibly. It’s our hope that these posts will help you build a stronger inner life. Enjoy ~ John

It is not uncommon that your focus on loving others well can cause you to neglect a relationship with a very important person: Yourself. Our capacity to be properly related to those we love and lead begins with being properly related to ourselves.

It is so easy to forget about the last little phrase in Jesus’ command in Matthew 22:36-39:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’…

When we neglect to love ourselves, there’s a breakdown in that very important “golden rule.” We cannot adequately love our neighbors if we do not get that second part correct. So, how do we get there?

Talk to yourself well

We live in a day and age where self-deprecating humor and snark are the first language of so many. But if this is what we are bathing our minds in, we will have trouble fully seeing ourselves the way God does. A wonderful lady at my former church gave me a coffee mug covered in words of encouragement. She then gave me a note that had corresponding scripture for each of the words. I tend to be self-deprecating, so this mug and note is very meaningful. I drink my morning coffee from it with regularity to remind me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139); that I’m adopted by Father God according to His will and pleasure (Ephesians 1:5) pleasure . . . and the list goes on. Dig into scripture to find out what He thinks about you and meditate on it.

Reminding ourselves regularly: self-care is not selfish, and selfishness is not self-care

Finding a careful balance is key. We are no good to others if we are broken and exhausted. Think of the pre-takeoff instructions that a flight attendant gives on an airplane. If the cabin pressure drops, put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. You can’t help the person next to you if you’ve passed out. But I am equally no good if all I do is focus on caring for myself at the detriment of the needs of others. Find the sweet spot.


Understanding and owning your well-being is a matter of obedience

Jesus commanded it. He said that “all the law and the prophets” hang on getting these things right: Loving God. Loving Others. Loving yourself. We need to do what it takes to walk in this obedience.


In the weeks to come, we will dig into this on The Leading from Alignment podcast as well. So be sure to listen in! The more you develop a responsible relationship with yourself, the better you’ll be able to love and lead others.


We’re rooting and praying for you to become your own best friend vs. your own worst critic!