Today I got an email from Pastor Rick Warren of Saddlebck Church, and the purpose driven life. He let us know that His son, Matthew, age 27, took his own life. It absolutely breaks my heart to see something like this happen. It pains me to see people who are victims of mental illness and depression go through what must be torture as they face their daily lives. It’s more common than you think, and believe me when I tell you that it’s a very taboo subject within the Christian realm.
I once talked to a Christian professional in the medical field and asked her if mental illness was a demonic thing, or a “real” illness. She explained it like this, “It can be both, but most people don’t want to think that it can be physical because they don’t understand what mental illness is in most cases.” She went on to explain that most cases of a mental disease are a result of chemical imbalances in the brain, and can be treated just as easily and appropriately as diabetis. So why then are we so afraid to talk about and deal more with people who are struggling with this affliction within the church?
I suppose that when we see someone who is suffering with a mental disorder, we may see our own weaknesses and want to shy away from them. Some people will actually go so far as to believe that the disease is a punishment for some sin the person committed. While others may believe that it’s a matter of demonic possession. The fact i, it could be any of these. But like the Bible says so often, we’re not to judge on the why’s, but we should instead focus on what we can do to help.
If you take a short look around you, I can almost assure you that you will see someone who is suffering from some form of mental illness. Don’t avoid them, pray for them. Be with them. Love them where they’re at. In many cases this is what they’re seeking more than anything. Just like Jesus as who so often went directly to the sick and lame to heal them, we should be spiritually drawn to those who suffer.
If you think you may suffer from depression or something else, I urge you to pray on it. Seek help. Don’t allow it to get to the point where you consider taking the precious life that God created, and that Jesus died for. If you know of someone who is in pain, be right next to them as they walk a very rocky path. Fair warning…walking this path with them is not easy, and it requires dedication, but it’s a must thing to do. It’s the Christlike thing to dToday I pray for all of those who are suffering on the inside. I pray for Pastor Rick Warren and all the others who have lost loved one to mental illness. I pray that we will one day be more bold in our approach to this taboo subject and be more proactive in helping others through the miracles of Jesus and prayer. Today I am broken hearted knowing how many suffer from a horrible anguish and ask that you do the same.
Psalm 103:1-22 Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. …
Mental Illness in the Bible – you’re not alone.
A punishment for violating the covenant (Deuteronomy 28:28)
Feigned by David to escape capture (1 Samuel 21:13-15)
Prophets servant is thought mad (2 Kings 9:11)
Madness compared to foolish behavior (Proverbs 26:18)
Madness is the opposite of wisdom (Ecclesiastes 1:17; 7:7)
Nebuchadnezzar’s punishment (Daniel 4:32-34)
Jesus is thought to be insane by His family (Mark 3:21; John 10:20)
Jesus heals a lunatic (Matthew 17:15)
Festus suggests that Paul is mad (Acts 26:24-25)
Believers could be thought to be mad (1 Corinthians 14:23)
Paul’s ideas so extreme as to be thought insane (2 Corinthians 11:23)