Featured in the November, 2002 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
There are not enough psychologists and psychiatrists to treat the people who need help. Medical doctors write thousands of prescriptions for drugs to give people relief from mental and emotional difficulties. One out of eighteen people has been in a psychiatric ward. Everyone occasionally suffers some mental or emotional upset that makes life miserable. Here are ten rules for better mental health.
1. Receive God’s Salvation and Peace. No one is truly right until he is right with God. Sin is the cause of trouble in our lives. The Bible says, “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:21).
We do not find peace in ourselves, but in God. When you definitely know Christ as your Savior and know that you are going to heaven, God’s peace floods your heart. This is never through our own efforts, but simply through faith in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul teaches, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Human psychology can never be a substitute for God’s salvation. The pathway to peace begins with repentance for sin and saving faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Maintain Good Health Habits. The Apostle Paul tells the Christian, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you” (I Corinthians 6:19). Proper eating, adequate exercise and avoidance of health-destroying habits are necessary. It is easier for the mind to be healthy if it lives in a healthy body.
3. Enjoy Your Work. Not only should we work, but do it with zest. The Scripture says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). If you indulge in self-pity because of your daily employment, you are slowly destroying yourself.
4. Remember to Rest. Jesus urged His disciples to rest (Mark 6:31). From the time of creation God has set one day out of seven in which we are to rest from our usual labors. If you have no time to rest, be sure your hospitalization is paid up and you have the name of a good psychiatrist.
5. Make Gratitude an Attitude. An ungrateful person is always an unhappy person. The psalmist said, “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1). Expect nothing and then you will be grateful for every good gift that comes your way.
6. Cultivate Contentment. We should always be discontented with our character, but contented with our circumstances. The Apostle Paul even when he was in prison for Christ’s sake, wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). Discontent leads to continual disquiet.
7. Live a Disciplined, Orderly Life. The Bible says, “But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (I Corinthians 14:40). Make a good schedule to guarantee the orderly and productive use of your time. Carefully make a budget to assure the wise use of your money. A disorganized, undisciplined life is an open invitation for emotional and mental problems.
8. Emphasize Today. Begin each day with the exclamation, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Do not ruin today by moaning over yesterday’s mistakes or tormenting yourself with tomorrow’s uncertainties. God made you to live effectively only one day at a time. If you try to bear the burdens of two or more days, you are inviting emotional and mental collapse. Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34).
9. Retain a Sense of Humor. If you do not know how to laugh, you do not know how to live. Our warped society has trained us to laugh at that which is not humorous, and so we have lost our real sense of humor and with it our mental stability. The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
10. Realize Your Security. If you have truly repented of your sin and have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are a guaranteed winner. No matter who opposes you, you can always say, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). No matter what trouble or tragedy comes tumbling into your life, you can always exclaim, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Nationally famous psychiatrist Dr. William S. Sadler, who had a long-time practice, said, “If Christianity were practically applied to our everyday life, it would so vitalize the race that at least one-half of our sickness and sorrow would disappear. Faith is an actual remedy for those physical ills which result from doubt, depression, and discouragement”.