You’ve heard the axiom, “Never talk about religion or politics.” I think it’s become, “Never talk about religion, politics, or mental health.” I often tell people, “We’re all crazy. Everybody needs Jesus and counseling.”
Too many people have been led to believe that it’s shameful to talk about mental health in church. And, heaven forbid a therapist bring up faith in the counseling room!
When I was 16, I bought my first car, a used ’88 Buick Skylark. It was a piece of junk. The paint was oxidized, the interior was stained, and the engine needed work, but it had cold A/C. I spent hours working on the exterior, interior, and the powertrain. In order for my baby to be right, everything had to be addressed. It’s easy to see that with a car. Why is it difficult when it comes to ourselves?
Many struggle to reconcile faith and mental health. They’re often seen as being opposed to one another. But is that true? Dr. Gerald Corey said, “There is growing empirical evidence that our spiritual values and behaviors can promote physical and psychological well-being. Exploring these values with clients can be integrated with other therapeutic tools to enhance the therapy process.”
If we have the courage to move past our socially conditioned mindset that faith and mental health are at odds, we’ll have no problem seeing that they are intertwined.
If the exterior and interior of a vehicle look fantastic, but the engine is shot, do you have a “healthy” vehicle? Of course not. It’s the same for a neglected interior. If any aspect is in poor condition, the whole is lacking.
Faith and mental health work together to strengthen the whole person. We must ask ourselves how we will treat the relationship between the two. Will we stash the stigma?
Pray with your pastor. Read the scriptures. Talk to your therapist. Use the tools God has provided to work together for your good and His Glory. ■