Don’t normally do open threads, but felt I would as I’m still in the midst of my opinion drought.
Feel free to raise any issues, request prayer, generally offload, have a moan – yes you can moan about me within reason – link to something, share your good news, or simply say hello and let us know how you’re doing.
I’ll kick of with a quote from a book I’m currently re-reading entitled: Mad, Bad or Sad? A Christian approach to antisocial behaviour and mental disorder.
For too long there has been a mutual distrust, a polarisation, between psychiatry and religion. Religious people fear that a psychological approach will ‘explain away’ their faith. Mental health professionals suspect that troubled people may be using their faith as a defence against facing their problems. Indeed it is possible to have a ‘neuotic relationship with God’, to see Him as we want to see Him, ‘in our own image’ as it were.
‘Neurotic’ in this context means that one perceives other people not as they really are, but in the light of an earlier dominating relationship (the imprinted image). For instance, if one’s father had been violent one might see all men as potentially violent regardless of the evidence. Previous experiences, unmet needs or yearnings will colour our relationship with God. We might invest in our faith in God what we need psychologically. Indeed religious faith can become inextricably bound up with the mental defence mechanisms of the mind.
The more primitive of these defences such as denial, ‘magical thinking’ and regression lead to our ‘kidding’ ourselves. We avoid facing painful or arduous issues. At best faith becomes an anxiety management strategy. At worst we project our problems onto others; impute to others our angry, negative feelings (projective defence). This makes it more difficult to forgive others.
The mature believer in Christ learns to empty themselves, pour out their sense of helplessness, bare their soul to the mercy of God. Repentance enables them to let down their defences before God, to accept the healing power of forgiveness, to allow the Spirit of God to empower. Can the Holy Spirit change dysfunctional brain pathways? This is what we believe.
I found that last para challenging.
Back in early 2011 I wrote on the concept of a neurotic relationship with God; prompted by reading the same book.
I do blog about some weird stuff don’t I.
Anyway, floor is yours…..but hopefully you’re out enjoying the sun.
Tags: Mental Health