Our church is going through a sermon series called “Transformed” by Rick Warren. So far I’m really enjoying it. In fact, I told my husband the other day that he made a very good decision by preaching this series. We also meet weekly with our community groups so everyone in the church is studying and learning the same thing at the same time
There are 7 Key Areas of Transformation that we are studying. Here’s what we’ve studied so far.
Transformed in my Spiritual Health
Transformed in my Physical Health (always a great reminder for me . . . painful, but great)
Transformed in my Mental Health
We have a sign in our home that says this:
“REMEMBER, AS LONG AS ANYONE KNOWS WE ARE A NICE, NORMAL FAMILY”
I chuckled when I saw it but it speak the truth of how I felt a long time ago.
“Remember you’re husband’s a pastor. You need to put on a happy face and pretend that everything is great. Even though you’re suffering with days of darkness that cannot be explained. Anger that rages inside of you that it comes out in waves of explosion after explosion.”
What a terrible place to live! I felt like I was caught. Stuck. No way out. Which only made the anger and depression more intense.
How I wish I would’ve known then what I do know now. But that’s what I’m here to tell you today.
What Chad spoke about concerning mental health helped me immensely with my victory over depression. The following truths are what I learned during my years of counseling as well.
There are 3 Daily Choices you can make to help you have a Healthy Mind.
1) I Must Feed my Mind with Truth.
During my years of counseling, my counselor spoke this truth to me over and over and over again. Depression, anxiety, and mental or emotional states thrive on lies. Telling yourself lies. Listening to the lies of others. These emotions grow like weeds on the un-truths that we believe.
Matthew 4:4 But Jesus told him, “No, the Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “
It is imperative to listen to the words of God. Only His Words. I know myself. I am way too trusting of my own thoughts and the “apparent” thoughts of others. If I begin to focus on those at all, I’m headed for a slippery downward slope.
2) I Must Free My Mind from Destructive Thoughts.
Destructive thoughts are the enemy of our minds. We learn these thoughts from our old sinful nature.
Romans 8:5 says, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”
How do we free our minds from destructive thoughts? By focusing, on “things that please the Spirit”.
“I concentrate on doing exactly what you say – I always have and always will.” Psalm 119:112
This is not something that will happen overnight. How many years have you been thinking terrible, destructive thoughts? It’s going to take some time to re-train your brain. But God’s Word is faithful. As you focus on Him and His Truth he will do the work of changing the way you think.
How do I keep my mind from focusing on destructive thoughts? By reading God’s Word, listening to others who focus on God’s Word.
3) I Must Focus My Mind on the Right Things.
If we’re going to keep our mind from focusing on destructive thoughts, we need to fill our minds with the right thoughts.
What are these right thoughts?
“Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:3
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:4
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Colossians 3:2
The theme verse for being “Transformed in my Mental Health” is Romans 12:2
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
This verse is one of my “go-to” verses when I’m struggling with a dark day or angry feelings that have no explanation. I NEED to remember that I no longer belong to this world. I NEED to remember that I am no longer a slave to my sinful nature. I NEED to remember that my mind has been transformed and renewed.