Christianity + Mental Health
Written by The Transition on 13th November 2020
Mental Health and Christianity isn’t something that you tend to hear in the same sentence, but we deal with mental health on a daily basis.
Here at The Transition, we understand that Christian walk is not supposed to be segregated from everyday life; God doesn’t call Christians to be separate from everyone else but to be an example to the world. So we discuss everything pertaining to life, incorporating faith-based, biblical, and personal perspectives, helping to shine a light in a world full of darkness.
Verse of the week:
- Psalms 91:2 (NLT) – This I declare about the Lᴏʀᴅ: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
The verse of the week serves as a perfect precedent when we consider the news coming out of the world right now. If you’ve been anywhere near the news or social media, you would’ve undoubtedly come across at least one of the many tragedies or injustices, particularly the devastating stories involving Africa. Gender-based violence – South Africa, End SARS – Nigeria, Violence and Exploitation – Congo, Child labour – Ivory Coast and Ghana, Rape – Liberia and Youth protests – Namibia.
These tragedies and injustices are nothing new but the exposure they now receive through the expansive nature of social media is alerting the entire world to details that for so many years have been overlooked. The accumulation of these issues is pushing together a people that have long been connected to division; the black community, notorious for its exclusive nature, is now realising that we are all in this together. It is a sad feature to admit these world issues have become so common they cease to surprise a desensitised audience. Nonetheless, we cannot accept it as the norm. Every discussion surrounding this topic, or those similar, leads to one word – change. And God is the only one who can ensure that word becomes our new reality.
We recently marked World Mental Health Day (Saturday 10th October), a day dedicated to the consideration of mental health. Mental health itself has become a popular topic in recent years, leading a number of people from every area of life to share their personal experiences. Interestingly, this trend isn’t as evident within the church because, for many people, Christianity and mental health rarely fit into the same sentence.
How does being a Christian influence your mental health? (We’d love for you to share your answers with us!)
There is practically a taboo within the church when it comes to discussing mental health issues, possibly because the Christian faith is so heavily associated with blessings and hope, it causes a failure to consider the other side. But positive association cannot negate the fact that Christians are susceptible to mental health just like anyone else. Anyone who has suffered mentally can relate to the similar thoughts that occur when dealing with an episode of mental challenges, thoughts that attack the Christian and non-believer alike.
And even though as Christians we have unmatched access to the One who is far greater than any situation, what do you do when it feels like prayer isn’t working? These are the type of questions we refuse to ask and because of our reluctance, we force others to sit in their reality due to fear of breaking a code that doesn’t actually exist. We must break down every barrier we’ve set in place causing believers to think that their struggles are wrong. If we would open up the floor, so many Christians could recount their personal difficulties and explain that even though they have faith, it doesn’t always feel like faith is working.
However, even when a situation seems hopeless, it is just a figment of reality because it can never be so with God –“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping…”.
We can declare God’s word over our lives:
- Deuteronomy 31:6 – So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lᴏʀᴅ your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
- Matthew 11:28 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
- Matthew 6:34 – So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
We can pray directly to God, giving him access to our situations. And if you cannot pray for yourself you can seek assistance in prayer from a fellow believer.
Example: “Lord God, I am struggling in my situation and I need you to come and help me!”
We can have faith that in spite of everything, God is working for our good.
For anyone dealing with mental health challenges – God is our hope and therefore our Hope can never die and these are not just comforting words but an ever-lasting actuality!
To anyone who doesn’t yet have a relationship with God, salvation is available to you today. If you want to start a relationship with God, we invite you to join us in the following prayer:
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Saviour. Amen!”