Faith and Mental Health
Yesterday, I sat with someone I love and deeply respect in the faith. I shared my heart with about some of the “bad learned” behavior I learned as a result of ministry. Having spent these years undoing the “system” of validation and acceptance, it’s like coming back to the heart of worship after the music fades and all things are stripped away.
Sadly, many in the church view mental illness as a character flaw when it is more the result of abuse, some form of trauma, or a medical condition, but it is not a weakness in the Christian character. Not if there’s an underlying physical cause.
Unfortunately, we sometimes stigmatize people who seek the help of a therapist or counselor, thinking the person must have a spiritual, moral, or character weakness (or worse, some have been told their demon possessed!)
I explained, we go to the doctor when we’re injured or have an illness, so what’s the difference when people seek out the help to undo unhealthy patterns?
I believe that faith plays a huge role in helping us to cope with mental health struggles. (Mark 2:17) Whether it’s through prayer, reading Scripture, or simply having a community of believers to support you, faith can provide a source of strength and comfort that’s hard to find anywhere else! Let’s not pin one against the other. Both are needed since we are spirit, soul, and body!