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Pointers along the way #661

Healing of the mind

- Jacob Ninan

As a result of the Fall, our mind has a tendency to think foolishly, feel negatively and set wrong goals. One aim of God in saving us is to restore us to the original perfection He had in mind for man. But even after we have become children of God, we tend to have different attitudes towards the concept of mental troubles. Some deny them altogether, misquoting 2Ti.1:7 (KJV), claiming that God has given them a 'sound mind', and denying the reality. Some recognise their problems, but because of the stigma associated with mental disorders choose to suffer rather than seek help. Some keep praying for a miracle from God without receiving the help He has provided through other people. Sad to say, comparatively few seek help from qualified professionals along with prayer.

Mental health problems are of different types, some needing medication from psychiatrists and others needing short or long term psychotherapy or counselling. Professionally qualified Christians who know the Lord and His ways personally have a great advantage over secular therapists in that they bring God into the picture and address also the spiritual problems of people including those of demonic origin, apart from the psychiatric and psychological aspects.

A lot of problems people face in their personal lives and dealing with others originate in the way they grew up, especially in their childhood. (There are other problems and causes too, but this is the focus here.) The human child has a great potential for growth and so he needs many years of training, especially from his parents (Pr.22:6). Unfortunately this is an area where things are going from bad to worse with neglect and abuse (verbal, emotional, physical and sexual) on the rise. A large percentage of children get 'rejected' (the opposite of being loved, accepted and treated affectionately), including those who wrongly conclude they were rejected because they misunderstood some well-meaning step their parents took. Children, with their limited knowledge and ability to think, form their own strategies of coping with their pain (usually self-protection, self-rejection or rebellion), and this distorts their mental development to various degrees. As adults they find themselves suffering from disorders of different intensity. Some problems become so deep-rooted that it becomes too difficult to correct, but many others can be helped to come to differing levels of recovery, if only they would be open to receiving help.

Sometimes the process of recovery includes bringing to mind the the past hurt and dealing with the details along with the help of the Holy Spirit and getting into God's perspective of things and His long term plans. Even though it may look too painful to get back into the past hurt, the result will be a deep inner cleansing and a fresh and hopeful outlook on life. Psychology and theology come together to bring healing to the whole person, with new attitudes towards life and people.


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