Mental illness has been depicted as early as in the Old Testament. In the passages of 1 Samuel 16:14 (NIV), “an evil spirit from the Lord tormented King Saul” which resulted in David playing an important role to deliver the king from depression by playing his harp.
Mental illness is viewed by some Christians as a result of sin. With this common belief, how should Christians react to those struggling with mental illness? Those who suffer from mental disorders should not be considered outcasts. The passage from the 1 Corinthians states that God is tolerant and forgiving, and, as a resul,t he will not make His precious children suffer from mental illness as punishment for their sins.
It was written in Psalm 34:17-20 (NIV) “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken”. This passage indicates that God is more than enough to help those who suffer from depression. However, He encourages fellow Christians to help others who are also in need. In Ephesians 1:11 (ESV), it was indicated that “in Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” thus we also hold a responsibility to help those who are also in need.
As mentioned earlier, Christians should not shun their fellow Christians who suffer from mental illness. In Galatians 6:2 it says that the “Holy Scripture tells Christians to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Romans 12:15 also supports this passage and tells us to “mourn with those who mourn.” As Christians, God wants us to uplift our neighbors so that they will not have to face depression and other mental illness alone.
So as Christians, we are called to act when we see our brothers and sisters who suffer from mental illness. Just like God, we should not turn our backs on them and instead lend them our hands so that they will be able to surpass their afflictions with our support.