How to Use Your Faith as Help For Mental Health

How to Use Your Faith as Help For Mental Health

FriendshipMajor depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder – these and other mental-health challenges are part of our human experience just as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease are. If you’re a human being, you’re at risk. And that includes you and me whether or not we’re people of faith.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless when it comes to your mental health. Good mental health habits will decrease your chances of mental illness just as good nutrition, physical exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight will lessen your risk of arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Those good mental health habits include such things as nurturing healthy connections with other people, learning to take responsibility for one’s own thoughts, and ensuring a steady mental diet that’s positive and encouraging.

But as many of you know, a healthy physical lifestyle is no guarantee against physical illness. And good mental habits are no guarantee against mental illness. We need something more. We need healing. And we need an eternal perspective.

What role, then, does faith play in your mental health?

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3 Kinds of Prayer That Can Harm You

3 Kinds of Prayer That Can Harm You

Man in PrayerPrayer is a good thing. Always.

But not all prayer is created equal. Did you know there are actually some kinds of prayer that can be destructive mentally and spiritually?

You already know this if you think about it. Think of how differently you feel after a screaming match with God over something you don’t understand compared with an intimate time of just being with Him and listening to Him from your heart. Neither are wrong. In fact God is the best One to go to with the tough stuff. But that illustrates how different types of prayer have different results.

As we grow through the Christian life we come to understand more and more about what it means to connect with God, communicate with Him, and walk with Him. In that process I hope you’ve grown past these 3 unhealthy, even dangerous types of prayer.

3 Unhealthy, Dangerous Prayers

1. Prayer That Demands

Demanding is not the same as asking.

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How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

How to Save Your Marriage With Prayer

The wake of the Ashley Madison scandal has left many marriages traumatized. Church members have discovered the indiscretions of their pastors. Wives and husbands have discovered the infidelity of their spouses. It’s not that we didn’t know even Christians often struggle to remain faithful to their marriage vows. But the sheer volume of data that was hacked and suddenly available publically has left many somewhat stunned.

There is no easy answer to the problem of marital infidelity. There is no guarantee that your spouse will not fall into some such sinful behavior, or that you yourself will not be sorely tempted. We are each fallen human beings. There is no hierarchy of sins with God. We are all in need of a Savior – today and every day until Jesus returns to take us home.

But that doesn’t mean you are helpless, or hopeless. You may wonder if your own marriage is destined for failure. While there are always many factors involved, I can point to some strong research showing you how to save your marriage with prayer.

Prayer provides a level of insulation against the common human vulnerabilities leading to marital infidelity. In a study of several hundred participants,

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5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

5 Ways to Spend Time With God When You’re Busy

Bible and Coffee in the MorningYour mind gets distracted. Life gets busy. Your thoughts become occupied with figuring out what to do next or solving a problem. Your heart becomes filled with frustration or anxiety or fear or bitterness or pressure. The urgency of life seems to overtake your decision to spend time with God.

Perhaps somewhere there’s someone who’s super spiritual and for whom spending long periods of time with God happens without effort. For me and most of the rest of us, finding ways to spend time with God only happens by being intentional.

As with any human relationship, our relationship with God has many dimensions. Different seasons of life and our unique personalities color how we experience our relationship with God at various times. But there are some common threads we can take advantage of at any time to improve how we spend time with God.

God built us to be part of a community of believers, and I hope you’re involved with others in growing your Christian faith. Worshiping together with others is a powerful way to connect with God. But here I want to focus on 5 ways you can spend time with God individually even when you’re busy.

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Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Keys to Overcoming Opposition In Your Mission

Push AwayThere’s a popular myth – perhaps unspoken – that says everything should be easy if you’re doing the right thing. But that’s just not true. Call it “the resistance,” spiritual warfare, or inertia, but the fact is that if you’re trying to do anything of significance you will face opposition. Coming to terms with and overcoming opposition will make the difference between success and failure in almost anything you do.

Change is usually painful, and almost always difficult. Every system wants to maintain the status quo. Your brain want to keep right on practicing the same bad habits, thinking the same negative thoughts, or enjoying the same addictions. Your family system wants to continue the same unhealthy or dysfunctional patterns of relating. Your church or business wants to remain at the same level, getting the same results as it is now, instead of growing.

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