21 Feb Mind MATTERS
Nikitha, is panicked over exams; Abhivan a brilliant student, started taking drugs to forget the death of his brother. Akansha, a young graduate attempted suicide when her parents didn’t agree to her choice in marriage. It is common that pressure to compete torments the well being of students. While situations and people mess our lives, God is concerned about us. Exodus 2:25 says, “. . . so God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. ” God was concerned about their bondage and sufferings. And today, God is concerned about our mental ill-health.
Scientifically, it is due to neurological and chemical imbalances that take place in our minds, victimized by worries about the world. It is very difficult for the victim to perceive his own thoughts and different activities of his mind. But they are reflected in his behaviour, and the damages are easily recognized by others. Due to imbalance in one’s mental behaviour, he may victimize others too. Often our mind plays a lot of games within us. Indeed, it is like a battlefield, struggling with our past encounters, present deeds and unseen future. Yet, we tend to give more attention to physical health and appearance, than mental stability.
Our mental stability plays a vital role in building up our faith and moving forward in our spiritual journey. Let us ponder upon God’s strength in our weaknesses, to win over the battles in our minds. Let us attempt to understand some of the challenges we face.
Depression is a saddened mood, loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities, mostly characterized by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. The reasons of depression can be prolonged illness, losses, emotional hurts, rejection, loneliness, guilt, failures, failed relationships, and such. According to India Today, one in ten Indian men and one in four Indian women suffer from depression. The WHO labels India as ‘Most Depressed Nation’ with 36% depression rate. Depression leads to suicidal attempts and suicide. The real problem is a void in our lives due to some losses which only God can fill. Our self-will, rebellion and sin have separated us from God.
Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. ” God gave a spiritual dimension to human beings in order to stabilize and motivate his mind, heart and body. Depression is a result of self pity (not to be confused with self control or self discipline). Self pity plays a role of sin. However, to receive a healing from this deadly sin we must be willing to let go of self-pity. Only through Jesus Christ our Saviour we can receive the power to overcome this mental problem.
It is a psychological term in which a person tries to dictate how another is supposed to be and behaves often disagreeing with others. Such people think they are perfect and thus they are not open for corrections. They can be full of rage, pride, fear of losing control, and emptiness. They dominate their juniors, and those with low self esteem are usually victimized. Even in some relationships, one may be a control freak. It stifles with the ability of others to flourish or grow. It hurts your relationship with others and with God.
An anti-virus agent for a control-freak is ‘humility’. Philippians 2:3-4 instructs us to do nothing out of self ambition, but in humility, to consider others better than ourselves. God wants us to mature into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And as we mature in Christ-like character, we will grow in our concern for others.
An Inferiority complex is a lack of self-esteem & confidence and feeling inadequate. It stagnates, strangulates and crushes ones’ personality. It distorts a person, plunging one into the chasm of inner conflicts.
One of the most beautiful examples in all scripture of an individual who was plagued with a sense of inferiority and who later overcame it because of his devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ is, Zacchaeus. He thought of himself as inferior due to his little stature. He had an encounter with Jesus and overcame his inferiority and a found a sense of worth & acceptance in God Himself.
Usually one feels inferior when he/she attachs value to appearance, assets, social status, and other external things. A personal encounter with Christ can confront this complex and eradicate it.
Spiritual realization of the position of a believer in Christ is the cure for inferiority complex.
Fear is a feeling of agitation and dread caused by the presence of imminent of danger. It can either be a response to real or imagined perception of danger. One takes, may actually fight it or flee it. It is either fear or faith! As God promised us not to fear, for He is with us. We must choose to have faith in God, who holds our future.
Corrie Ten Boom who survived the concentration camps in Germany during the Nazi rule said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ” Now that is what is called “FAITH”. God has promised 365 ‘FEAR NOTs’ in the Bible, one for each day of the year. God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7).
Addiction is the condition of being dependent on, or craving towards a particular substance or activity that is beyond voluntary control. People with any addiction don’t have control over what they are doing or using, instead that particular activity or substance controls them.
It includes not only drugs or alcohol but such as gambling, pornography, internet, shopping, mobiles, social media, etc. They never give you satisfaction or peace but make you crave for more and more. They often lead to feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, despair, failure, rejection, anxiety or humiliation. The statistics regarding addiction in India is alarming. 70% of the boys began watching porn at the age of 10. India is the fifth highest consumer of porn in the world. 25,426 people commit suicide due to drug addiction every year.
Addiction is a form of idol, one must be off the hook. Bible instructs to manifest self control (Gal. 5:23); we are called to crucify our sinful nature (Gal. 5:24) and to offer every part of our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness (Rom. 6:13-14).
Accepting Jesus Christ as our Saviour we are redeemed from the clutches sin.
The above discussed aspects should neither be confined to scientific findings nor misunderstood as meant only for the ill but should be seen in relation with our God and self. Let us worship God in truth and spirit. Let us seek him with the right mind!
The author, a psychiatric nurse, is also involved in ministering at St Peter’s Church, Nagpur, along with her husband Rev Deepak Gnanaprakash.