LONLINESS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

As human beings and as Christians, we are designed to be part of a group and we have three needs in terms of our relationship with our group.

1. We need to belong, to be wanted, accepted. We want the members of the group to be happy to see us and to identify us as one of them.

2. We need to be seen as unique, delightfully different and have the other members see our difference as a positive thing. without the others putting us down or being jealous.

3 We need to see that our unique differences , even our weaknesses, enrich the group and that they are blessed because of us. We need  to see that we are needed.

Unfortunately, we usually settle for the illusion of belonging. Most church goers could not tell you for sure whether their peers are even saved because they have never had to chance to hear the others testimony. They do not know the others dreams, struggles, or recent insights on the Word. Every church member objects and says, “our church is fine we all know each other.” The truth (far be it from us to dwell in the truth) is that we would be terrified to let the others know our real thoughts, struggles, doubts etc. Our communal prayer life revolves around illness and surgery and sometimes around economic needs but never do we get real with sin, addiction, lust, materialism or, God forbid, mental illness.

People who struggle with emotional illness or mental illness are terrified to let their peers know the truth of their struggle. Too often the terrified fellow church member responds with some version of “can’t you just have more faith and stop feeling depressed or having mood swings?” If they hear voices or see things, they get prayed over to cast out the spirit. When they still hear voices, the message is that they must not be co-operating.

I was talking to one of Jesus’ hurting daughters yesterday. She has struggled with mood swings for years and has also walked with God and the church faithfully for years, but could not be open and real about her illness. She then developed cancer and the church rallied around ministering to her needs. Still she felt lonely because the acceptance and support were available only for the cancer but not for the mood swings. You might wonder if she just jumped to the conclusion that she would be ostracized and never let anyone know. No she has tried before and it did not turn out well.

Another of Jesus’ daughters told me that when she was depressed, she thought of reaching out to church friends and realized that,that would not be a supportive experience. So, she reached out to an unsaved friend who said, ” yeah life is the pits sometimes, hey do you want to go out for some hot chocolate?”

Remember first that we will never have all our loneliness removed till we see Jesus face to face. Until then I suggest that you talk with the pastor and offer to meet, (perhaps for hot chocolate) and listen and share with any church members whom he knows struggle as well. He might even put out an anonymous announcement in the bulletin. I CORINTHIANS 12 KJV

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate (Photo credit: Sheep”R”Us)

Ghost.

Tools specific to 1Cr 12:4

1Cr 12:4

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:5 1Cr 12:5
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:6 1Cr 12:6
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:7 1Cr 12:7
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:8 1Cr 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:9 1Cr 12:9
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:10 1Cr 12:10
To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:11 1Cr 12:11
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:12 1Cr 12:12

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:13 1Cr 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:14 1Cr 12:14
For the body is not one member, but many.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:15 1Cr 12:15
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:16 1Cr 12:16
And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:17 1Cr 12:17
If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:18 1Cr 12:18
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:19 1Cr 12:19
And if they were all one member, where were the body?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:20 1Cr 12:20
But now are they many members, yet but one body.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:21 1Cr 12:21
And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:22 1Cr 12:22
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:23 1Cr 12:23
And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:24 1Cr 12:24
For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:25 1Cr 12:25
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:26 1Cr 12:26
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:27 1Cr 12:27
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:28 1Cr 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:29 1Cr 12:29
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:30 1Cr 12:30
Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
Tools specific to 1Cr 12:31 1Cr 12:31
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
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One thought on “LONLINESS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

  1. Sadly it is true that people can shun us with mental illness. I have many times in my church cried, shown my bipolar ups & downs. My family of church members know me and accept me as I am. It has helped me in so many ways to know when I have those moments, they understand and comfort me. I can say I had mood swings my whole life. I was not diagnosed with my disabilities until 2009 at 54. Once I was stable on my meds and out of a bad situation. I was able to gain stability. It was a long way back to where I am now, only by His grace. In all I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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