Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mental Health: Part 3 by Ps Michael Podhaczky

Life can be difficult at times for those with mental health issues and for their families. There are things like the medical matters, time pressures, ongoing care, and ongoing support just to name some of them. For some, this can be a life-long trial, whereas for others it may be short term. However, there is no denying that at times the person suffering from mental health issues may feel lonely, ashamed and unable to explain their world.

Some added elements that Christ-followers in this situation may have are questions like, why did God allow this to happen to me and why hasn’t He healed me yet so I don’t need medical help? On this issue, Michelle Boorstein from the Washington Post said,
“Part of our belief system is that God ­ changes everything, and that because Christ lives in us, everything in our hearts and minds should be fixed. But that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes need medical help and community help to do those things. That’s the heart of my issue.”[1]

Yes, God does still heal today, and we should never stop praying. But that does not mean those suffering will not also need medical and psychological help, as not everyone will be healed. Those going through mental health challenges can feel alone and misunderstood because of not being healed, even Christ-followers. Remember that a person’s mental health does not define them. Instead, we need to see them through our Heavenly Father’s eyes.
16 “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Co 5:16-17 NLT)
See Christ-followers with mental health issues as new persons in Christ. However, we need to see all those suffering mental health issues as people worthy of respect and to be valued. It needs to be clearly stated that,
“People are crying out for help, and we cannot afford to be ignorant or afraid. Christians have to break the stigma and the shame of mental illness.”[2]

[1] “Suicide of star pastor Rick Warren’s son sparks debate about mental illness.” April 10, 2013.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/suicide-of-megapastor-rick-warrens-son-sparks-debate-about-mental-illness/2013/04/10/322e4910-a148-11e2-9c03-6952ff305f35_story.html?utm_term=.db14308e0cd9 (Accessed 3rd May 2017).
[2] “Mental Illness & Medication vs. Spiritual Struggles & Biblical Counselling.” http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/april/mental-illness-medication-vs-spiritual-struggles.html (Accessed 3rd May 2017).

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