Question: Does God address and have solutions for poor mental health?
Yes. In the Bible we learn that Christians or followers or Christ, are made of three entities: body, soul, and spirit. The body is our physical being. It houses the spirit and the soul. Our bodies are temporary and are useful for our earthly lives.
Second Corinthians 4:7 states, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
The treasure is the Spirit of God that dwells inside the vessel and the vessel is the human body. God placed a great treasure inside of you and me at salvation—His Spirit.
Second Corinthians 4:6 states, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The word heart in the Bible refers to our soul. The soul is the mind, will, and emotions of a person. The soul helps to define the personality, the character, the integrity, and the ethics of a person. Whatever the soul is fed is what the soul becomes. The body is similar. If you feed your body junk, your body will turn to junk. If you feed your mind junk, your mind will turn to junk.
Of these three, body, soul, and mind, the only one that cannot be corrupted is the Spirit, and that’s because the Spirit is of God. A person’s Spirit is either alive or dead. For the Christian, the Spirit is alive because God brought it to life at salvation. For the non-Christian, the Spirit is dead. The Spirit is only made alive when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
So, if we bring verses 6 and 7 together like this, we can learn a very valuable mental and emotional lesson that helps us.
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
God has shined in our hearts or our soul (mind, will, and emotions). God directly reflects His light. In the Bible the word light is translated as anything emitting brightness. However, metaphorically the word light it is directly related to sound reasoning in the mind and understanding gained by moral truths.
God directly shines moral truths and sound reasoning into our heart and soul. Verse 6 reinforces this when it says “… , to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
God provides the moral truth and knowledge that we need in our soul (mind, will, and emotions) in order to provide for sound thinking. This same power or light then also works in our bodies (earthen vessels). Emotions are stimulated through thinking. Thinking stimulates chemicals in the body that move us emotionally. The chemicals in the “body” are part of this equation.
Thinking (soul) stimulates chemicals (body) that stimulate emotional responses. Emotional responses create brain patterns that make it easy to respond the same way over and over. A person who is mentally healthy thinks on good things and develops healthy brain patterns. A person who is mentally unhealthy thinks on corrupt things and develops unhealthy brain patterns. These patterns only grow stronger with time.
Godly information (God’s Word, teaching, preaching, fellowship with godly people, prayer, etc.) leads to godly thinking. Godly thinking leads to strong emotional health. All of this is powered by the Spirit of God that lives in you. If God’s Spirit is not alive in you, then there is no power to overcome mental and emotional distress, therefore you will become heavily dependent on medications, expensive therapy, and other programs to try and deal with your emotional distress.
God is very clear that He desires that we live strong emotional and mental lives.
The book of 3 John 1:2 states clearly, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul [mind, will, and emotions] prospers.”
This is a mental health verse. The health of your soul [thinking] is directly related to the health, success, and prosperity of your entire life. The health of your soul begins with the health of your Spirit. Are you a child of God? Is your Spirit dead or alive? There is no true mental health success without salvation in Jesus Christ.
If you are Christian, your Spirit is alive. Are you taking care of your soul by walking in obedience to God? Are you allowing God’s light to shine into your heart through the knowledge of God’s Word that leads to godly thinking that then leads to godly decisions and good mental health?
Obedience to God’s Word enables the light of God to shine bright in our hearts and results in strong mental health.
Then why do so many Christians struggle with poor mental health, self harm, and even suicidal thoughts? We will discuss those in my next BLOG.
Todd Robinson is the Executive Director of Next Step Recovery Ministries and has counseled those in addiction and other strongholds for more than 15 years. Todd has a Ph. D. in counseling, and holds certifications in Addiction Psychology, Parenting, and Leadership. He is a retired USAF combat aviator and has been married to his wife, Cecilia, for 31 years.