GOD AND SELF-CARE

Being a social worker can be stressful. Demands can come from clients, supervisors, stakeholders, and funders. Paperwork can seem never ending. Clients in crisis can come in at any time. Sometimes social workers are even on-call during evenings or weekends, making it difficult to relax. With all of these demands, what can social workers do to manage the stress?

The Bible is clear that we need rest and time to disconnect from work and rejuvenate. It is actually so important that God made it one of the original Ten Commandments. Jesus also encouraged his disciples to get some rest when they were tired. Clearly, God knows we are human, that our bodies get tired, and that He made us to need rest. But more than just regular physical rest, God also knows that our minds need to rest in Him. Regardless of our circumstances, if we are worried and focused on fixing things in our own power, we can quickly become overwhelmed. That’s why Jesus goes into great detail to remind us not to worry.

According to Jesus, living in God’s rest means trusting in Him at all times, more than in the things of this world. Living in God’s rest means keeping our focus first on the Kingdom of God, living righteously, and not on the things of this world. By keeping this perspective, we are able to live in a place of trust in our good and faithful heavenly Father who already knows our needs and will provide for them. It is not up to us to make things happen. As we do our part in seeking the kingdom first, the results will follow.

People who don’t trust God chase after things, worry, and try to make things happen with their own strength. People who trust in God know that they are deeply loved and valued by the God who freely feeds the animals and clothes the flowers. They don’t need to worry or live under the pressure of making everything happen.

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and worried, remember the God who loves you more than He loves even many sparrows. Remember that He loves you so much He doesn’t want you to have to worry about even the basic things you need, but to live in the freedom of knowing He will take care of you. He wants you to have rest for your body and your soul.

Pray

Heavenly Father, sometimes it’s hard to trust in Your goodness. It’s easy to think I have to take care of myself and to rely more on myself at times than on You. Reveal your goodness and love to me more and more, that I might more fully trust You. Thank you that You are not only big enough but loving and good enough to provide for my needs. Thank you that it is not Your will that I live a life of worry and stress, but of rest and trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Resources
Bible
Textbook: The Search for Significance

Background Information
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25–34
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Mark 6:30–32
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 20:8–11

Instructions
Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following prompts:
What do you tend to worry the most about? What is making it difficult to trust God with the results in this area?
Seeing God as a loving and providing heavenly Father who wants to meet our needs makes it easier to seek His kingdom and righteousness first because we trust His intentions. How easy is it for you to see God this way? How does Jesus’s description of God in Matthew 6 help?
What can you do (or do already) in your daily life as a social worker that will help you keep a kingdom-first perspective and live more in the rest of God?

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