“I know I should not feel this way but…” How many pastoral conversations have started with this phrase? Far too many. Although part of a mature adult faith is being held accountable for our actions (even when emotional) we have a faith that acknowledges the whole range of emotions we experience. This includes the negative emotions. Fear, worry, anger, guilt, Sadness are a part of life and the way our brains are designed to work. Just think of the emotional expression that scripture lays out for Jesus.
He shed tears (John 11:35) He grieved (Luke 23:28) He was angry (Mark 3:5) Anguish and sadness came over him (Matt 26:37) He showed astonishment and wonder (Luke 7:9) He felt deep emotional distress (Mark 3:5).
We may need to be able to control our emotions for a time in order to function in the moment, but if suppressing them, rather than expressing them is all we risk our mental health and well being. You see it is not just our spiritual well being God is concerned with but our whole being, physical, and mental health included.
The topic of mental health (though that term is not used in the bible) is seen throughout scripture. This can give us great insight in caring for ourselves and each other and offers many conversation starters. As we move into February Mental Health will be the focus for Pick-up bible study. Often we wait until a topic peaks our interest and build a time and place to discuss it in a bible study. Now is the time! Please look for more information on the start of our study. It will be held over lunch after church in early February.