Does the bible speak of mental illness?

With regard to mental health specifically, the Bible doesn't contain a word for mental illness. This is partly because Old Testament writers chose a variety of biblical Hebrew words to express personality. The conversation about mental illness and its validity has sometimes been controversial, especially among those in the faith. It's important to note that the Bible never explicitly talks about mental illness in terms of how we would define it in modern times.

Even so, more and more churches are experiencing the effects of mental illness within their congregations. Treatment and care have been topics that many have debated, and while these questions are not easy to answer, the Bible gives us an idea of how we should view and respond to those who are struggling with their own minds. Don't be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and stay away from evil. It will heal your flesh and refresh your bones.

Often, in the past, primitive beliefs taught that mental problems were directly related to Satan and were the result of demonic possession; however, this is not true. It's almost certain that you're not the only one in your congregation dealing with problems stemming from mental illness. The Bible doesn't refer specifically to the topic of mental health, but it does talk a lot about a person's emotions, mind, soul, and heart. Although I don't think it's useful to apply modern diagnoses to ancient biblical characters, since their context, experience and perspective are very different and partly unknown, the Scriptures abound with examples of people showing symptoms of the absence of Shalom in their functioning.

Mental illness may not be my fault, but it may be my chance to tell the truth about Christ's love to others. Therefore, having a mental illness is not a sin and does not mean that you are less of a Christian because you have a mental illness. Scott, PhD, NCC, LPC-S is an associate professor of clinical mental health counseling at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, and provides clinical counseling and community oversight through his counseling office, Sunrise Counseling. Although your mental illness may not be cured during your lifetime, God will be with you at all times.

Reginald Thomson
Reginald Thomson

Reverend Thomson is a pastor and Bible scholar with over 10 years of experience in ministry and biblical studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity degree. As a Bible scholar, Rev Thomson has published numerous articles and books on various topics in biblical studies, including hermeneutics, exegesis, and biblical theology. He is widely respected for his expertise in the original languages of the Bible, and he is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars on biblical scholarship. He loves working with his church youth group. He is a frequent guest on the Scripture for Todaypodcast.

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