Today is World Mental Health Day. It is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.
Scripture does not come out and specifically speak of the term “mental health”. However, it does tell us how to treat others regardless of who they are, what they look like or where they have been. The term ‘mental health’ is seemingly far more prevalent in society than most of the Christian world would like to realize. While many in the church do not want to recognize the reality of our social state it has become a very prominent topic. Many people come through the doors of a church hurting, broken and suffering. So we cannot afford to ignore the stigma of mental health and brush it under the proverbial church carpet pretending it’s not a real thing. A topic like mental health can easily focus on the pain and struggle one endures and it is no respecter of persons. When we are interacting with others who experience anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any other form of mental health, we need to treat them as we would want to be treated. It is imperative that we treat people body, mind and soul. Scripture is very clear on we are to treat others. “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
We must remember everyone’s struggles are different. If we are going to reach out to our fellow Christians who struggle with mental health, we need to recognize it. Personally, I suffered in a very dark place in my life, and after coming out of the darkness I know that I know how very real it can be in someone’s life. I never dreamed I would be there, but there I was right in the middle of it all. But I also know that we do not have to stay in those dark places and caves. We can come out stronger than ever before with God’s help. God created us mind, body and soul and as our Creator, He made us to have emotions and loves us on the mountain tops and in the valleys.
David was called ‘a man after God’s own heart’ and yet he suffered with depression Psalm 42:11 says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” Job suffered great loss, devastation and physical illness and he said, “I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.” in Job 3:26 Jeremiah wrestled with great loneliness, feelings of defeat and insecurity. Jeremiah 20:14, 18 says this, “Cursed be the day I was born…why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble an sorrow and to end my days in shame?” Hannah was in depressed, in despair and desperate because she was barren according to 1 Samuel Chapters 1 & 2.
It is not for us to judge others in whatever state they are in according to Matthew 7:1-6 so what can we do? When I was going through the darkest place in my life I didn’t want a pat Christian answer any more than I wanted experience anyone’s judgement, but because more times than not people don’t know what to say or do those are the exact things that can occur. What can we do? We can be a light of hope in someone else’s darkness. We can offer to pray for and with, provide a source of encouragement and we can just love them with every act of love. We can choose not to judge others for what they are going through, and remember we are not walking in their shoes. We can choose to be the one to not see the dirt, but be the one who finds the gold. We can tell someone that “No matter where they have been, what they have done or what’s been done to them or where they are right now at this moment; they are Simply Beautiful by God’s Design.”
Father God, help us to live a life of compassion for others. Let us see others as you see them and please help us to not worry about fixing them, but rather leading them to You. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear when we see others struggles. You created us so unique and complex that only You can heal each of us mind, body and soul. In Jesus Name, Amen!
PRAISE & WORSHIP:
What steps will you take to find the gold in someone rather than be worried about the dirt every day?