For some people of strong faith, dealing with mental health issues is especially challenging. That’s because they’ve been raised to put their complete trust in God, and when life shakes them and their faith, they assume they’re somehow acting sinfully and turning their back on Him. Or they see Scripture like Proverbs 29:11’s counsel that “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” and assume they should suppress their feelings.
Emotions are part of what God created when He made us. They’re not a flaw in our makeup. Instead, they’re a normal part of life and who we are. We’re not expected to be calm and steady all the time, because we’re exposed to a wide variety of situations and circumstances. The author of Ecclesiastes reminded us there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Emotions are a good thing serving an important purpose. They’re not steering wheels that control us, but indicator lights that alert us to what’s going on in our mind. It’s important that we acknowledge them as part of being human and pay attention to them.
What should we do when we feel troubled? Philippians 4 reassures us by saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s power over all is reinforced in Second Timothy, which opens by reminding us that “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
The Bible also has advice on how we should react to other people’s emotions. In Romans 12, we’re told to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
So what should you do if your emotions are so overwhelming they seem to control you, or if you stuff yours deep down in an effort to deny their existence? That’s when it might make sense to have a conversation with a professional counselor. We can help you explore what you’re feeling and find healthy, constructive ways to tend to your emotions. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll worry less. Contact us today.
Seth Baker recognizes the importance of walking with young people as they navigate some of the most challenging and defining experiences of their lives.