The heaviness of depression, hopelessness and anxiety tend to make us feel super stuck. But can we truly help how we feel and think? Yes, it depends on what we focus on; it depends on the choices we make.
The Lord tells us to think on the things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. By this God tells us that we have a say in what we think. The Bible says the heart is deceitful and advises us to guard our hearts because it guides the course of our lives. Again, we have a choice. In no way am I trying to downplay depression or any mental health illness, but it’s wise to be intentional about directing our thoughts and guarding our hearts on a constant basis.
Many mental and emotional problems come about through what we expose ourselves to: which then produces our thoughts and then directly influence the way we feel. Many people, including believers and servants of God are battling for mental health. From anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder to self medication to suicidal thoughts, many people choose to hide and pretend than to be honest.
Speaking from experience, keeping it real is good for a quote or a slogan, but not always for real life. Many people are shamed, dismissed and/or abandoned for having heavy thoughts and negative emotions, but if we learn to listen, instead of minimize; love instead of judge; teach instead of correct; we may bring more healing than medicine ever will.
… and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
If you know anyone struggling, battling and/or suffering with their thoughts and emotions, pray for them, listen to them, love on them and remind them that they are not alone. When the time is right, ask if they would consider counseling, therapy or a support group and remind them that God is for them, and not against them. Remind them that they matter; they are not a burden and are loved despite it all.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.