Sunday, November 24, 2013

What's mental health got to do with the church?

Mennville EMC north of Riverton.

Scripture reading by Roger Friesen:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Privileged to be here this morning. Beautiful drive this morning from Landmark.

Deals with people issues. Jesus has understanding about mental health.
Bullying and postpartum depression news is all around us.

1 of 5 people will have serious mental issues. All of us are touched by mental issues. Costs $51,000,000,000 in Canada.

Jesus speaks to us.  Romans 8:22 Creation is groaning. Great crowds came to Jesus with all kinds of issues.

In the beginning no one had mental issues.

In the end Jesus will make everything right again.

We make sense of it because we live in a fallen broken world.

Don't just sit and wait. Do something. Don't say the dreadful phrase: it is what it is.

We treat mental issues like they used to treat leprosy. Jesus has something to say about it. Leave something for the poor. Be extra gracious to the disadvantaged in society. We need to draw the 'thems' into our circle of friends. That includes the gay. If Jesus came to Steinbach would he shoot hoops with the cool jocks, or would he find the bullied? What did he say to the prostitute in John 8? What was Jesus writing when the self righteous wanted to stone her?

When clients talk about depression, I say I get that.

Shame bad is bad. Adam and Eve were not ashamed to be naked. The fall created shame. But now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Rom 8

There are bad simplistic answers that hurt
1. Mental illness is demonic.
2. Psychobable
3. Medical problem.

We are fearfully made. Spirit. Body. Mind. Mental illness impacts all 3 areas of the person.

Exercise improves the body and mind.
Talk about it. Open the conversation. Love and acceptance goes a long way. It makes it far more manageable. Know where to find resources. Be the bridge.

So can I help myself?
Reach out. Ask for help.
Practice mental hygiene. Anchor yourself in biblical truth.
Practice spiritual disciplines. Read Ephesians. Practice gratitude. That is mood altering. Just as good as any drug.
Dialog with God. Talk to him about your crankiness.
The Lord is near. With thankfulness present your requests to God. Focus on the good.

Started an anger management group some years ago. One person dropped out. Then he came back after spending time in psych ward. They used to call them asylums. A safe place to rest. Not doing anything. Just resting.

Make the church an asylum. A place to rest.

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