Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well- being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, make choices, and relate to others. At every stage of life - from childhood and adolescence through adulthood – mental health matters.
The Bible has many passages that speak indirectly of mental health - the Lord is the one who renews the mind (Romans 12:2) and restores the soul (Psalm 23:3). God has given His children a ”spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 17). We have Jesus’ promise of rest and peace (John 14:27, Matthew 11:28). There are many scriptural quotes to “fear not” and to bring our anxieties to God (Isaiah 4:6, Matthew 6:34, Philippians 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7). Throughout scripture we see biblical figures such as David, Job, Elijah, and Jonah dealing with deep feelings of anger, despair, depression, and loneliness. Martin Luther experienced bouts of mental anguish. Many clergy today struggle with stress, anxiety, and depression and 1 in 4 persons sitting in our church pews has a family member struggling with mental health issues. Sadly, many are left feeling alone in their struggle. As the body of Christ, the church is called to promote mental and spiritual wellness, embrace those with mental illness and their families, reduce the stigma they may be experiencing, and to provide a faith community of help and hope. Jesus said, “ come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Parish Nurse, Mission and Social Ministry Chair