Written by Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes
The past few years have presented unique challenges to me that I never saw coming, beginning with the sudden death of my younger brother with whom I shared a close relationship. My mother passed away eight weeks later, and the trauma of fractured familial relationships followed. My husband’s sudden acute illness threatened to take his life. A snakebite brought my daughter, a first-grade teacher, to the brink of death. These were times when I desperately needed soul care.
Most of us have heard of self-care but often neglect to pay proper attention to the care of our souls. Both involve rest and refreshment, but soul-care brings Jesus into the equation, which results in lasting change.
As editors, we often juggle various projects and clients while managing our complicated, messy lives. We might not be able to control our challenging circumstances, but we can work on purposefully caring for our souls.
During adversity, I’ve found it crucial to purposefully protect my relationship with God while pampering my soul.
5 Essential Soul Care Tips for Editors
Choose to Seek God’s Presence Actively
Coming into God’s presence means being aware of Him daily. We’re called instead to have the “mind of Christ” and keep our focus on the one who created us and knows every single aspect of our lives.
Actively Manage Stress
Part of having the mind of Christ is being a better gatekeeper of what we choose to allow into our lives. Some stress is inevitable, but we don’t need to add to it. We can use Philippians 4:8 as a guideline.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
(Philippians 4:8 NIV)
Read our Bibles Daily
Immersing ourselves in Scripture helps us recognize things, ideas, and thoughts that aren’t from God. Reading God’s Word helps us to stay educated, centered, and encouraged.
Practice consistent communication with God. Prayer can be specific and bold. It keeps us centered on Him and His answers to life’s questions and dilemmas.
Practice Daily Gratitude
Being thankful daily helps us see the blessings we can easily overlook or take for granted. It gives us a contentment that doesn’t rely on our circumstances. Practicing gratitude helps us see God’s sufficiency and turns our focus to Him.
What Does the Bible Say About Soul-Care?
The ultimate purpose of soul-care is to center our lives on God. It focuses on Jesus, who brings lasting peace and joy. Instead of distracting ourselves from the stress, we focus on how God can meet our needs. Soul-care helps us fight daily temptations and have peace with Him. The term soul-care isn’t in the Bible. Yet, we can see essential concepts in Scripture highlighting why we need to care for our souls. A biblical definition of the soul is the immortal part of our physical body and involves our mind, emotions, and the ability to respond to God and others.
What Biblically Sound Soul-Care Isn’t
While there’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves to self-care practices like spa treatments, new clothes, and vacations, we must remember that constant preoccupation with ourselves and our interests is dangerous. We shouldn’t let them be our norm when we need to prioritize sacred rest, refreshment, and nourishment. It’s about balance and giving precedence to God, who truly satisfies our soul. If we obsess about self-care practices and neglect the care of our souls, we will defeat the purpose of how God intends us to care for body, mind, and soul fully and appropriately.
Scriptures About Soul Care
In this letter from John to his friend Gaius, he showed his concern for his friend’s physical and spiritual health and
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
(3 John 1:2 NIV)
Our emotions live within our souls. Jesus said:
“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”
(John 12:27 NIV)
“And Mary said, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord.’”
(Luke 1:46 NIV)
Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that losing their souls meant missing out on who God created us to be and an eternal life with Him.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
(Matthew 16:26 NIV)
Our souls belong to God, who created us in His image.
“For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.”
(Ezekiel 18:4 NIV)
We reflect God’s nature and image and are priceless souls from Him. We often put great emphasis on the care of our physical bodies. We do things like eat healthy and exercise. However, the best approach to developing our spiritual growth is to care for our spiritual health.
Why Is Soul Care Vital for Editors?
Caring for our souls means working alongside the Holy Spirit to bring glory to God, who created us. Caring for our souls means consistently becoming more like Jesus. To become more Christlike, we need nourishment and renewal in our souls. God desires that our needs be met as we nurture a relationship with Him. This is where we find proper rest. Soul-care can also be considered an act of worship. Caring for our souls helps us focus on God while giving Him the glory in and through our lives. We fill ourselves with God to fulfill the greatest commandment.
“Jesus replied: ‘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.”
(Matthew 22:37–38 NIV)
Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes, EdD, is a writer/content editor. She works for Iron Stream Media as a book coach/editor. She’s a sensitivity reader for Sensitivity Between the Lines and an editor/contributor for Inkspirations. She is the board’s vice chair for the 540 Writers community. Her writing has been published in Guideposts.