Practical Living through Biblical Principles

Christians and Mental Illness

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By Elder Myrtice Rhodes

Psalm 34:17-20 – “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”

Why is it uniquely challenging for Christians to address issues often associated with mental illness?

As Christians, we sometimes tell ourselves we should not have these afflictions associated with mental illness, and if we do, it somehow translates to a lack of faith. People who suffer from mental illness often struggle with anxiety, suicidal ideations, shame, depression, trauma, obsessions and thoughts of compulsion.

Sometimes they are aware that something is not right or that they need help, but are fearful to go to the church for assistance for fear of being judged…sadly because sometimes they are, or have been judged in the past. People who suffer from mental illness are waging a war in their minds to keep their thoughts healthy and bodies well, whether they are Christians or not. This is why it is important for the church to have a better understanding of mental illness and to be able to share resources for both members and non-members of the body of Christ to get appropriate assistance.

Action: Take a little time to learn about mental illness…learn the signs so you can get family members, friends and colleagues the help that is needed. Pray for those that suffer from mental health.

Prayer: Lord, you said in your word that the righteous cry, and you hear and deliver them out of all their troubles. That you are close to the broken hearted. Though many are the afflictions of the righteous, you will deliver them out of them all. So, Lord, we bring you into remembrance of your word and ask that you deliver those who suffer from mental illness Lord, renew in them a right mind and clean spirit, bring their systems back into the right balance. We ask that you open the eyes of understanding of their loved ones so they can recognize the signs and help them. We pray that you provide the resources that is needed for their complete healing. In Jesus name, Amen.

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