Reading time: two minutes.
I don’t want the topic of self-care to become burdensome or overly complex. I like the Lutheran Wellness Wheel because it gives us a simple handle on eight aspects of wellness. I’ve gotten good feedback on this “four words” series. Which four words are at the heart of emotional wellbeing, at it’s most basic and simple?
I think I’d sum up emotional wellbeing with these four: “My problem is me.”
Diagnosis is always the first step in treatment. I’d love to be able to blame my sour moods on the weather, the government, the latest Cardinals loss or the bad service at the credit union, but those minor irritations can’t drain me of the Spirit’s gift of joy.I’d like to blame you, or my wife, or my co-workers for my sour disposition, because strained relationships are at the root of my emotional distress. When I’m in a foul mood, it’s almost always people related. My instinctive reaction is to blame the other person.
That seems to just compound my mood disorder. I get stuck when it’s somebody else’s fault. The blame game was a dead end for Adam and a dead end for Eve and it is for me also.
When there’s a problem in a relationship, especially with those closest to me who have the greatest influence on my moods and emotions, I’ve contributed. The problem is me.
I can’t help but think of four of the most powerful words spoken in the scriptures. Nathan dropped a huge bomb on David after his transgressions against Uriah the Hittite when he said, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). David, smitten by the Spirit of God was correct to reply, “The problem is me.”
Aren’t you glad that the gospel of God’s forgiveness in Christ applies even to a fallen, sinful creature like you? My morning Psalm this week is Psalm 62. What a beautiful blessing for people in emotional distress (like me) is found in the first verse, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him” (NIV).
When my heart and spirit are all twisted in knots because of anger or hurt or resentment or any symptom of a broken relationship, and when I’m (finally) convicted that the problem is me, that I’m at least a contributor and likely an instigator of the conflict, God my Savior enters and rescues me.
His loving grace is real. His forgiveness heals. In Him alone my troubled soul finds rest. Emotional wholeness, peace, quietness and rest come only through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is loving me and I’m restored.
And healing comes in my relationships when I’m bold and honest enough to tell my beloved, “My problem is me,” I confess my sins, and we share mutual absolution and restoration.
That’s rest for the soul. That’s emotional wellness. May God’s peace be on you and your house!
Thanks for reading.
A Congregational Wellness Retreat is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.