First things first: Although this post is not about music, go ahead and give in to the urge to sing the infamous Rock and Roll tune, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” by the fabulous Tina Turner.
Confession: I’m still singing the words out loud myself!
This is what good music; especially when you can relate to it, will do to you.
Rock and Roll isn’t the only genre of music that has this effect. I could list several, but one that stands out the day after the most attended ecclesiastical event is Gospel or Contemporary Christian.
Every faith Believer can relate to these categories because we have had to listen to a song in our cars in order to uplift our spirit. We have been inspired by them while attending our church services. And when we find ourselves isolated in despair, they are comforting.
It’s the message within the songs that gives us hope and reignites our fire, reminding us that God still cares about us. That He loves us so much that He allowed Jesus Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
This means no matter how many times we mess up and feel as though we have disappointed ourselves, our loved ones and even God Himself, The Gospel message still hold truth in our lives.
This is the FAITH that keeps us going.
It is our faith that encourages us during dark times and when our circumstances portrays that all hope is gone.
It is NOT our lack of faith that allows us to experience unpleasant situations, moments of depression or even suicidal thoughts. I know because I’ve been there.
And so have iconic biblical warriors like David and Saul.
So if you were among the many that gained the energy and muscled up the courage to get out of your bed yesterday and go to your designated place of worship, only to be told or treated like your conditions and emotions were a result of your lack of faith, be encouraged.
Years ago when I experienced major depression as a minister of the Gospel, I had my own pastor at the time to ridicule me. Instead of seeking ways to help, he sought ways to ostracize me. Admittedly, this made me feel some type of way about the church as a whole.
But I thank God for Faith that is not contingent on mankind.
What I also came to learn is that many pastors like him don’t understand mental illness. Unfortunately, what I have discovered through my advocacy is that many clergy are dealing with unbearable feelings of depression and even suicidal thoughts too.
Spiritual leaders find it difficult to talk about mental illness in their congregations for different reasons.
Pastors’ Views on Mental Illness and the Church. When we surveyed Protestant pastors, the first thing we discovered is that they do, in fact, have experience with mental illnesses. Approximately three out of four pastors said they knew at least one family member, friend or congregant who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Close to the same number (74%) said they knew someone diagnosed with clinical depression. More than half (57%) said they knew at least three people who fell into that category…Perhaps even more important, 23% of pastors indicated they had battled a mental illness of some kind on a personal level, including 12% who said it was formally diagnosed. -(Dr. Ed Stetzer, Christian Counseling Today).
These facts, along with the documented number of families dealing with a mental illness of some kind, are not to belittle pastors, spiritual leaders or Christians in any way. It is to bring awareness that the Church has a common barrier. We do have to acknowledge our weaknesses.
Because we are Christians, it doesn’t make us weak in our faith. God declares that when we are weak we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
God has known about our weaknesses from the beginning of time. He sent His son Jesus so that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10); therefore, He is not disappointed in our unbalanced or unhealthy emotions. He delights in helping us and giving us hope.
Not only does He standby waiting to rescue us, God has created us for relationships. We are to encourage and edify one another. No one is exempt from life’s causalities. We all have the ministry of helps, hope and healing.
This is what FAITH has to to do with it.
If you or someone you know needs help applying biblical counseling in your life, I would love to help. Simply email me at Healthymindscoach@gmail.com