The burnout rates of medical professionals in 2020 have turned our attention to the fact that those who care for others must also care for themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally if they wish to continue being effective. Although it is agreed that self-care is important, our cultural understanding of how we view and care for “self” has changed over time. Contemporary American culture assumes that self-care isn’t just a good thing but a human right that is worth pursuing no matter the time or cost involved. In pursuing the embodiment of our idealized selves, we are told to “just do you.” This modern notion of self-care contrasts sharply with the ideal of conforming into Christ’s image, which includes belief in objective truth, self-sacrifice, reliance on God, and putting others’ needs before our own. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve embraced “self-hood” when they chose to care for themselves rather than accept God’s provision. The remedy for a commitment to “self” that ultimately separates the “self” from God forever is to let it go — to die to self — and walk in the way of the cross. This isn’t just any death; therefore, the life offered is no ordinary life. The way of the cross is to embrace and surrender to the death of Jesus, which was an efficacious death that destroyed the very power of death. In terms of wellness, this is the only true holistic cure for the emotional, social, intellectual, physical, and, most importantly, eternal needs of the person.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Anne Kennedy about her article in the 43:2 issue of the Journal, entitled, “There Is No Health in Us: Wellness and Self-Care in the Age of COVID-19.”
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