The phrase “mental health” doesn’t come up in the Bible. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t interested in our mental health. God loves and cares about us, and that clearly includes our minds.
The Bible is full of stories about people who struggled. Job, David, Jesus and Paul come to mind. Psalm 88 ends like this: “You have taken from me friend and neighbor—darkness is my closest friend” (verse 18). When you think darkness is your closest friend you are definitely going through something bad!
My gut tells me that, in light of Covid-19, most people are currently experiencing more mental strain than they think they are, and certainly more than they’re used to.
Symptoms might be materializing now. Some won’t show up until later. It’s hard to be sure. Either way—and I’m just speculating here—but we may be standing on the threshold of a mental health epidemic of epic proportions.
What is clear is that you need to be proactive (not just reactive) about your mental health.
I’m not a psychotherapist; I’m a pastor. And from my vantage point we need to limit non-stop news (we can’t mentally sustain panic-mode indefinitely), get a decent amount of rest, get our bodies moving, and reach out to trusted friends and lean on each other.
But most of all we need to fix our eyes on Jesus like never before. There is no enduring answer or peace outside of him. Ever.
One of the many encouraging and comforting words we receive in the Bible is in Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Be proactive (not just reactive) about your mental health.
By Matthew Ruttan
–This Sunday at Westminster I’m teaching about how to wander successfully into an uncertain tomorrow as we struggle through Covid-19. If you want to watch our live-stream click here to receive an email on Sunday morning connecting directly to us.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.