I brush my teeth at least twice a day. I shower daily. I wash my hands countless times. I use the odd hair product and skin product – thanks for noticing! I don’t do as much exercise as I probably should, but I try to eat a balanced diet…
In these ways, and many more, we spend time, effort and money on caring for our bodies. But how many of us take time to care for our minds with such regularity?
How much time do you set aside to take stock of your thoughts, process your emotions, or re-centre your mind on the things that really matter? Do you invest in books, or resources that will help strengthen your inner life? Do you work hard to cultivate relationships that will bring out the best in you? Do you take the time to face up to the experiences that cause you pain, or do you just move on to the next thing, shoving them under the carpet and hoping they never resurface?
If we are to flourish as healthy individuals – inside and out – then we need to learn how to care for our inner lives. This Sunday we are beginning a brand new sermon series entitled The Heart of the Matter, which will help us do just that.
(As it happens, this week is also Mental Health Awareness Week, I would love to claim that we made a deliberate plan to launch the series this week… but truthfully it’s a happy accident!)
Over this series we will consider how our inner life – our thoughts, our feelings and our emotions – affects us, and how we can develop healthy habits that cause us to flourish. We will consider themes like identity, community, relationships, dating, fear of commitment, processing painful emotions, handling loss, and much more. You can check out the calendar to find out what we will be covering each week. I hope it will be an insightful and practical series.
As we go through the series, we will recommend plenty of resources that are relevant to each topic. But in case you want to swot up in advance, Pete Scazzero has written a selection of books, which are full of great insights on the importance of our emotional lives. I would particularly recommend The Emotionally Healthy Church, The Emotionally Healthy Leader, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.
In addition, if you would like further support, we have Prayer Teams available at every service, who would love to pray with you for anything at all. Do find them at the end of the meeting if you would like someone to pray with you. Or for ongoing support, our Pastoral Support Team offers a range of courses and one-to-one support. Do get in touch.