Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”
When I think of the times I was ill as a child, I think of my mother’s love. When I would get sick, there was nothing more comforting than to have my mom care for me. If I had a fever or cough, her loving care seemed to be as effective as the medicine she would apply. She would continually check on me to see how I was doing, checking my temperature and doting over me with kindness.
Psalm 18:35 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.”
It is through my mom’s gentle care that I would be restored from sickness, soon I would be back running outside, riding my bicycle and doing kid stuff all over again.
It is through God’s gentle care we are likewise restored.
There are times in our lives when the ravages of sin cause a spiritual sickness to overtake us. We may be healthy physically, but the physical is only part of who we are. When I was sick as a child, it was the physical that my mother was treating. When I’m sick from the effects of sin, it is my spiritual nature that God is restoring.
James 1:14-15 “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
When the ravages of sin are left unchecked, they have dire consequences. Just like ignoring our infirmities might lead to physical death, if we ignore our spiritual condition, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Why do we place so much emphasis on our physical condition and yet ignore the spiritual?
A common focus of society is health and fitness. Hollywood boasts of displaying an image of perfection and yet underneath the image is a rottenness of the bones. With the global influence of Covid-19 and quarantine being the solution, everyone seems to be turning to ways they might improve their image or health.
The human body has an expiration date. Since they do not last, why is there so much drive to preserve them for as long as we can? Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I have witnessed the devastation of cancer, heart disease, and the myriad of other diseases that are common in life. Many health issues arise because so many people ignore good diet and some form of exercise. When the body is completely ignored, the neglect is revealed in all forms of trouble.
A much greater concern is how we often disregard what is eternal to emphasize that which is temporal.
No one wants to live in pain and suffering but our suffering can be linked to more that just bodily health. The hope is to maintain the right balance in regards to our entire being and not neglect a critical aspect of who we are.
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”
We are body, mind and spirit.
Our physical status is often but not always dependent on how we treat our bodies, sometimes the circumstances are out of our control and we simply need healing. Our spiritual status is often dependent on how much we allow God to rule over our lives.
Salvation is the giving of our lives into God’s care and uniting with His Spirit in our hearts. There is a wholeness that occurs when this unification of man and God occurs. Our mental status can be affected by what we set our minds on. If we continually dwell on evil, if we hate in our hearts or lust, the soul becomes corrupted and the spirit and body follow right along. If we subject our bodies to mind-altering drugs, the weakness that follows often opens us up to all forms of demonic attack. We must take care of every aspect of who we are.
Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Just like neglect of the body and spirit leads to death, neglecting our minds leads down a path of destruction as well.
The mind is one aspect that we tend to mistreat on a continual basis. If we hyper focus on one part of who we are, we may experience the neglect we show elsewhere. Since many think no one can actually read or see in their minds they feel it’s an area they can just let go in any direction they wish.
The illusion is found in their misunderstanding of God.
Jeremiah 17:10 “I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind to reward a man according to his way, by what his deeds deserve.”
The dilemma comes from the things of this world that we dwell upon. If we allow filth and evil to pervade our thoughts, we will see it manifest in our actions. If we focus on that which is heavenly and good, we will see the qualities of Christ manifest in and through our lives.
Mental illness is a common malady heard within many state institutions evaluating those who have trouble controlling their minds. But controlling the mind becomes a losing endeavor when we leave it up to our own strength to overcome.
It was once said, “the soul is basically our mind, our emotions, and our will. It is who we are as human beings—but it is also used to express God. Luke 1:46-47 is a revelation of one who learned where to turn; “and Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
The soul or mind cannot be diseased, not in a tangible way. Since these institutions don’t recognize the soul, the idea that one could approach “mental illness” effectively with drugs is a losing endeavor. The etiology of mental disease is one that is not well known but what is known is the drugs used to subdue the symptoms. Unfortunately, the drugs don’t address the issues, they only mask the symptoms.
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.”
We must remember who ultimately is our healer. If we would only run to the Lord when we are troubled, we might actually be healed. The Lord is our maker and the fact that He brought us forth by His own hand figures that He knows how to restore those who are broken. If we will subject each part of our being into obedience to Christ, the ravages of sin, drugs, or even worldly corruption will begin to be washed white as snow.
When we address body, mind, and spirit….giving every aspect of our lives into the care of the Lord in obedience and trust we will see the peaceful fruits of righteousness and the Spirit of God making us into all He intended us to be—-Whole!