The Bible is full of wisdom for living a successful, God-honoring life. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we want to address our personhood in full, we can’t overlook our mind and how we handle its health. The following principles are derived from passages in Scripture that can help us understand how God values our mental wellbeing and the spirit seated within.
Principle #1: Express your hurts and frustrations
In numerous passages in the Psalms, we see David cry out to the Lord in his pain and troubles. Examples of his fears, doubts, hurts, and sorrow can be found throughout the book of Psalms.
As a general interpretation, David’s example sometimes echoes and foreshadows the pain and trials Christ ends up enduring hundreds of years later.
There is nothing unacceptable about letting God know exactly how we feel. Being authentic and identifying our true feelings is our first step in healing.
This also deepens our relationship to Him as He can better minister to us once we’ve opened our heart to Him.
Principle #2: Seek and find
Jesus tells parables about seeking and finding in a few places in the New Testament:
- The woman in her house looking for her missing coin (Luke 15:8)
- The shepherd who goes out to find the sheep leaving ninety-nine behind to find one (Matthew 18:12)
- The scripture in Proverbs 25:2, says it is “the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
God wants us to ask and seek and knock to get the answers and solutions we’re looking for.
In a similar vein, medicine for our mental health and the best treatment methods are a trial-and-error search for the best concoction of medicines our minds will tolerate and that will help them perform to the best of their ability.
Our mental wellbeing can need the chemicals our brains may not produce enough of. I tell many clients and those looking for peace of mind in their search for the best combination of dosage that it truly is a process.
And asking the Lord to lead the way to find that best dosage is a prayer He will surely help answer. I know, because he has for me, and many others.
And one of my favorite verses that assures we find when we seek is Jeremiah 29:13: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” – what a promising promise!
Principle #3: Call on God’s name and cling to His promises
God wants us to call on His name and instructs us to in many places in the Bible (Acts 22:16, Romans 10:13, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Timothy 2:22). It usually comes in the form of a promise too, assuring His children that when we call our God by name, He is faithful and able to meet us where we are at and help move us forward.
In our mental health, sometimes there seems to be a dead-end or a huge roadblock. Perhaps we’re stuck in depression or continuing in a battle of anxiety.
God challenges us that no matter the situation, when His name is called on, He will deliver.
Sometimes that’s all a prayer has to be.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
Principle #4: Account for your thoughts
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
This verse couldn’t be clearer. There are a few reasons why this order in practice can be helpful to our mental health.
For one, accounting for what enters our mind, stays in our mind, visits our mind, and what we allow to entertain us in thoughts can directly influence our feelings and behaviors.
This is a simple, known principle even in psychology: what and how we think will affect our feelings and behaviors.
But God’s laws are as universal as the laws of science, so it would align with a science-based tenet, wouldn’t it?
God knew what he was talking about when he gave this command through the Apostle Paul.
You might of heard the saying, “Change your mind, change your life.”
When we become alert and mindful of the thoughts in our head, we can identify what is true and of Christlikeness, and what is half-true or entirely false.
Identify with the Truth, filtering each of our thoughts through God’s Word, and we’ll improve our outlook on life significantly.
Principle #5: Think good thoughts
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things”.
What could be more straightforward than that? The author of this book tells us what kind of thoughts to dwell on.
But, easier said than done, right?
I encourage you to filter the thoughts through these descriptors as you’re taking them captive like the principle (account for your thoughts) above suggests.
Ask yourself, is that thought true? Noble? Just? Pure? Lovely? Good news? Praiseworthy? Virtuous?
If any answers are no, kick it to the curb.
Your mind doesn’t need to stay on that channel.
In fact, to prevent your mind from absorbing that condition of thoughts, be on guard against what you’re letting your eyes and ears see and hear.
Limiting television and social media by instituting blocked channels or types of content can be a real mind-saver. And limiting your time on them is possible with apps that you can download to your phone and computer.
For the five remaining Biblical principles that will help your mental health, see my post on my site, Part 2 of 2 here.
About the author: Hey there! I’m Katie Dale, familiar with the storms of mental illness, and I blog about my faith and how it has informed my brain-based disorder at KatieRDale.com. I also have a memoir out about my journeys through the psych wards and how I found peace of mind with psych meds (by the grace of God) – you can find it on Amazon here. Come find me and say hi on social media @KatieRDale.
Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.
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One thought on “10 Biblical Principles for Improving Your Mental Health (Part 1 of 2)”
Great list. Looking forward to part 2.