June 29, 2010
I'm a mental health practitioner. I've spent a lot of time working to figure out what constitutes it...and doing lots to encourage it. Biblical truth and godly living is mental health described. God wants us to be healthy.
So I am reading a familiar passage just now and begin to be alerted to the signs of mental sickness...and after an encounter with Jesus....mental health.
The passage: Luke 8:28-39 - for most benefit, why not turn there and read the passage carefully.
I'll just let the text speak...and hopefully the Spirit of God to nudge you as you consider what is in the text. (Not just a story about Jesus.)
Signs of mental sickness:
1. being susceptible to being "seized" by evil - "having demons"
2. inappropriate, shameless exposure - "no clothes"
3. homelessness, inability to be with people - "not..in a house, among the tombs"
4. extreme behavior - "crying out, falling down, loudness - hmm..something to think about
5. needing imposed restraints - "bound, chains, shackles, driven
6. unsociable - off in his own world, no relationships, living in a crazy place and manner
And then he encounters Jesus...is set free from the demons who are the source of his mental illness and these signs of mental health appear immediately:
1. clarity mentally - "right mind"
2. composed behavior - "sitting
3. welcoming God's presence and truth - "at the feet of Jesus
4. appropriately attired - "clothed
5. changed - so much so that people looking at him were afraid...(hmm..run that over in your mind...something to think about)
6. sociable - even a leader - back to the whole city - to offer change to them!
7. clear sense of purpose - he went away proclaiming, how much God has done
I pick up a bit of prod myself from some of the cultural stuff - could it be that demonic presence should be given credit for some of what is on TV? Could it be that style can be invaded by evil? Could it be that bodily exposure has demonic tones?
And I am touched again by the power of genuinely encountering Jesus. His words, his presence, his call, his manner can so quickly bring mental health to even the most challenged.
So I want to nurture closeness and live close to Him today.