Okay Todd, if God and His Word contain the solutions to our mental health battles, then why do so many Christians still struggle with depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental health battles.
There are many reasons for these struggles, but we will take them one at a time.
The #1 reason or cause I observe in counseling Christians who struggle with a variety of mental health issues is sin.
The vast majority of Christians I counsel who are struggling with strong, overwhelming emotions that will not go away are struggling because they are harboring hidden and secret sin or sins in their lives. It always takes a while in the counseling session for them to finally admit their hidden sins. The light is not shining in their hearts. They are entertaining corrupt and sinful thinking and therefore are participating in corrupt and sinful behavior yet wondering why God’s ways are not working to overcome their emotional and mental despair.
Sin weighs on the Christian much more than it weighs on the non-Christian. The Spirit of God chastises the Christian. The Word of God convicts the Christian. Their soul becomes heavy. Psalm 38 describes the heaviness and brokenness of the heart during depression. The author of this Psalm is King David, and he describes his mental anguish and depression brought on by his sin and disobedience to God. The sin not only impacts his soul (mind, will, and emotions), but the impact is felt in his body.
2For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
Sin breeds mental health problems. Sin keeps you from the success God has for your life and it corrupts your thinking. Sin corrupts your mental health. Sin corrupts your body.
James chapter 1 reminds us that not walking by faith breeds a double-mindedness (mental instability) that can torment us. In Genesis 13-19 we see a man named Lot who was man of God. Unfortunately, Lot made sinful decisions for years that led to severe double-mindedness.
He lived in sin that caused him to make bad decisions that later tormented his soul (mind and emotions), and caused him to live a fearful life (mental instability). Lot knew God and knew what was right, but he instead chose a life of sin. Lot handed this life down to future generations through ungodly actions with his own daughters. Sin can lead to generational emotional instability.
What sin are you harboring? Who are you not forgiving? What bitterness are you holding on to? What hatred do you have in your heart toward someone who did you wrong? What lies are you telling? What relationships are you holding on to that need to be cut off?
These are mental and emotional poisons. You must resolve these issues if you want to experience 3rd John 2 in your life.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”