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The Most Dangerous Myths of Mental Health

The Most Dangerous Myths of Mental Health

August 12, 2023

The Most Dangerous Myths of Mental Health

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Matthew 14:27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

A few common mental health stigmas in Christianity…

You ONLY need to trust God more. This is a common stigma that has existed in Christianity for far too long. Trusting God more is not a healthy answer for people who are struggling with a mental health condition. Mental health condition causes are complex and manifold. The root cause could be biological or cultural or relational. Does trusting God help us to flourish, absolutely. However, an overly simplified spiritual shaming answer is both relationally and spiritually hurtful, and ignorant of the complexities of mental health.

You need to read your Bible and pray more. This stigma is very popular, as though reading our Bible and praying makes us immune to human suffering. That is not the case for any follower of Jesus. And that was not the case for Jesus who suffered more than any person in history. He could not have read his Bible and prayed his way out of the mental and emotional suffering of the cross.

God is enough. This particular stigma is quite common around all forms of suffering. The sufficiency of God is not in question theologically. However, God uses people to help people throughout the entire scope of the Bible. We need people to flourish. And we need people that God has uniquely gifted, like therapists and pastors and counselors, to help us navigate certain painful seasons in our lives.

Something must be wrong with you spiritually. Mental health challenges are most often not related to a spiritual problem with followers of Jesus, nor are they a sign of spiritual deficiency. 

Myth #1

The Church shouldn’t 

In a few recent mental health studies, the following conclusions were documented*:

• 60% of college students met the criteria for a mental health condition.

• 84% of Gen Z report burnout.

• Covid-19 tripled the rate of depression in US adults in all demographic groups.

• 19% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder in a given year.

• Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge affecting 40 million U.S. adults.

• 40 million Americans are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. That’s 10% of our country.

*See the Sound Mind Workbook for references

Myth #2

Christians shouldn’t 

• ELIJAH – 1 Kings 18-19

• DAVID – 1 Samuel 17

• JEREMIAH – The Whole Book!

If you’re struggling, it doesn’t mean

It means you’re 

  1. Don’t 

         Getting help isn’t a sign of 

         It’s a sign of 

         2. You’re 

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

You will keep in perfect peace (SHALOM, SHALOM) those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

     3. Never Forget 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?Romans 8:31-32, ESV

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