Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here ! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Happy New Year!

What a crazy year 2020 was! Many of us have great hopes and dreams as we begin 2021. But often, we are plagued by a variety of mental health challenges or are helping those who struggle with them. Here are a few thoughts as you begin the new year.

1) Engage your issue: We all have stuff to work on in this new year. You are not alone. Often our challenges cause us to hide and fake our way through life. The Scriptures are very clear that we will all have issues to deal with (see Moses, David, Rahab, Paul, and virtually every human in the pages of the Bible) and the best way to deal with them is engaging them head on. Leave any shame behind. Remember that God will lead us through both the valleys and the mountains. Be patient and engage.

2) Seek the voice of God: God is not surprised or alarmed at your challenges. He is not unaware or anxious about you. He loves you dearly and has much to say to help. Seek His voice. Make the Scriptures your #1 resource for change. There is no greater power than prayer and Scriptures to help you in your specific challenge. Yes, professional counseling, medication, groups, and friends can be huge assets, but finding the voice of God is paramount. Read scripture-laden books and journal. Memorize verses. Trust God.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

3) Vulnerably share with a trusted friend: God created us to know each other on a personal level. We need each other–it is an essential and transforming element of life. You may need to ask your friend to hear you out. Ask them for 30 minutes of “pure listening time.” Uninterrupted talking gives us a chance to plumb some of the depths of our hearts and may allow us to access areas we did not know were problematic. Then return the favor.

4) Keep Jesus at the center of everything you do: Jesus is always my model for maintaining good mental health. Study Jesus’ interactions with the hurting. Watch him as he helps a leper. Examine his heart with the deaf and blind. Marvel at the way he treated the most shamed and excluded of their day. Listen to his tender and caring words as he reaches into your very soul with life-giving words.

May God bless each of you as you walk with Him in 2021!

The church setting is the perfect place to help those with all kinds of mental health needs or issues with sin. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion visit for Fall 2021 with Tim. The weekend includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.