According to preliminary reports, Nikolas Cruz was suffering from mental health issues before entering a Parkland Florida high school with a gun on Valentine’s Day. Some people close to the family believe the death of his adopted mother last year only worsened his condition. Perhaps, this might explain behavioral problems that resulted in the expulsion from two private schools. Yet, if mental health refers to a level of psychological well-being, what does this really mean?
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace, Romans 8:5-6.
Who determines what level of behavior or emotion is satisfactory and what is unsatisfactory? Depending upon the measurement or standard applied, experts might come to different conclusions. Another factor relates to the role that faith and religion should play in this discussion. On a recent episode of the View, Joy Behar mocked vice-president’s Mike Pence’s Christian faith. Behar believes that anyone who hears God speak to them either through Bible Study or prayer is a sign of mental illness. This comment received laughter and applause from the audience. Sadly, no one is laughing days after 17 people were killed with more in critical condition in south Florida hospitals.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ, Colossians 2:8.
The Bible uses a two part process to decipher mental health from mental illness. According to the apostle Paul, those who dwell and focus on spiritual things experience peace of mind. Meanwhile, those who reflect upon earthly cravings lead to unfulfilled lives, void of purpose and meaning. Anyone who falls into this second catalog is vulnerable to human traditions and philosophies of the world. In a recent confession, Nikolas Cruz said he acted upon the demons in his mind, a byproduct of his obsession with guns and violent video games. Therefore, if you want to alter your current state, set your heart and mind on things above. This is accomplished through daily Bible study, fellowship with other believers and prayer. May a desire to exercise this practice elevate the well-being of your mental health.
by Jay Mankus