How Faith and Mental Health Intersect
How do our faith and mental health relate? This is a critical question.
As a counselor, I see two base groups that consistently fight the idea of counseling more than any other. These are men and Christians.
Our culture tells men that they are to be stoic and strong. Fortunately, the younger generations are seeing less stigma in seeking help for mental health.
Christians suffer from thinking that we should be able to handle things because we have God. That’s true, of course. We do have God, but do we always know how to put our reliance on Him into action?
Living in Relationship with God
If we accept the fact that at the core of our creation is the desire of God to have a relationship with us, do we know how to live in it? What does that even mean?
Well, too many Christians listen to an inspiring sermon that maybe even taught us something, but by the time we are driving back home, the very real concerns of the world have taken over our hearts and minds.
Living in relationship with God is coming to a place where we know and feel His presence at all times. It’s coming to a place where we can truly lean on Him instead of dealing with the struggles of our lives completely on our own.
Faith and Mental Health Alignment
It’s clear that good mental health is completely in line with scripture.
The word ‘rejoice’ is found in 183 passages in the King James Bible. Understand that we’re not talking about being happy or liking our circumstances.
Throughout the Bible, we see the word rejoice as an instruction. It is a deliberate act. It is choosing to focus on Him or something that He has done.
Mindfulness and Faith
This is very similar to a secular psychologist instructing a patient to be mindful. Where this connects to mental health is that a large number of mental struggles can be directly linked with our thought life. Traumas or difficult childhoods can lead us to believe things about ourselves and the world around us that simply aren’t true. Our lives can lead us to feel that we have to be responsible for every detail. We can come to the point where we feel responsible for others’ feelings. Some people need professional help to break the habits that have plagued them for years. Of course, I am always available to you. But even if you don’t need or don’t want professional help, deliberately rejoicing is not only a Biblical instruction, but it turns our minds and our hearts toward God and positive thinking.
I encourage you to join me in rejoicing and pointing our hearts to God. While you do, apply Philippians 4:8 to your thought life.