Dr. Martin Seitz – “Stewardship Includes Stewardship of Self”
“[L]ove your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39b ( NIV)
Sometimes we forget that we are commanded to love ourselves as well as to love God and our neighbors. Of course, we are to love God above all and everyone else, and we love others and ourselves because we are made in God’s image and because He loves us. But I would go so far as to say that creation care starts with care of humans—God’s highest creation. Caring for the rest of creation also benefits humanity, as our temporal lives are dependent on our earthly environment.
Similarly, we help our neighbors by taking care of ourselves. None of us can care for our neighbors if we ourselves are nonfunctional. Each of us is a child of God worthy of care, and we should be aware of our own needs. We are responsible for maintaining ourselves as resources for the Kingdom of God and have a command from Him to take care of ourselves, physically, psychologically, and spiritually as He enables us. We are to bear the burden of our own well-being to the extent that we are able just as we are to help others bear their burdens when they need our help (Galatians 6:1-5).
- Dr. Martin Seitz, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences