I know I am a couple of days late to the party as World mental Health Day 2018 was two days ago (on Wednesday) but I still feel this important issues is something churches should be addressing and trying to understand better.
I take heart from the various initiatives that are emerging around the area of mental health within church circles.
However, I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to care not just for their own spiritual health but also their personal mental health. Yes, there are times when things get beyond what we can manage on our own and we do need to seek medical help. But I want to look at what we can do to help maintain our mental and spiritual health on a day-to-day basis – and wouldn’t it be great if we could do both at the same time?
Recently I have got back into the routine of having a short daily devotional.
I have heard lots of teaching around devotional times over the years. Some say one thing, someone else says something different. Quite often people are speaking from personal experience, so the rhythm or system or technique of having that devotional time with Jesus is what works for them – it may not work in exactly the same way for you.
Take the advice you are given as just that – advice. Not as a cure-all system that you have to follow to the letter in order for it to ‘work’. Embrace what works and throw out what doesn’t. The important thins is to find your own devotional rhythm.
Personally, I have found having a devotional time in the morning helpful. I am a morning person so this works well for me. My wife is NOT a morning person, so she finds evenings the best time for her rhythm. And we do things differently.
I guess there are a few key elements for me:
- Journaling – writing down my thoughts and feelings, laying them bare before God.
- Reading the Bible
- A moment of stillness and quiet – to disconnect, to just ‘be’ in the moment, to focus and to be still.
- A Response – whatever it may be: a prayer, a song, a picture…
Spiritual and Mental Health
I am finding establishing this as part of my regular daily rhythm I am nourishing myself spiritually. I an feeding on the Word of God and I am spending time with Him. Not just rattling of a ‘shopping list’ prayer when I’m desperate, but really taking time to enjoy His presence and to create space in my schedule to listen to Him.
In our busy lives, where we are rushing from one thing to the next, where notifications are buzzing on our electronic devices. It is vital that we carve out time, even just a couple of minutes, where we can be still. Where we can disconnect from the digital bombardment. Where we can just ‘be’. This will help improve your sense of well-being and aid mental health.
“Be Still and know that I am God”
1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety (worries and cares) on Him for He cares for you”
Maybe you could try spending a short time with God today, just to ‘be’ with Him.
Or perhaps you can comment below as to they way you spend your devotional time in order to help others?