Do I Or Do I Not Have Mental Illness?

imageOver the last few years, I’m thankful for the attention mental-health has received in the grass-root, governmental, medical and ministerial arenas. However, I’ve also seen the underbelly of this attention in the misuse of it among folk like you and me. Here’s the deal, mental illness is not something I would ask for or wish on anyone. Although I do my best to be a good steward with it, given the chance, I would get rid of it any day. In the many conversations I’ve had, I don’t know if everyone who says they have mental illness truly has it. And for those who self-diagnosis, I struggle with that because you haven’t gone through the proper training or licensing to be diagnosising.  What I know for me, is: I was diagnosed after a thorough historical, circumstantial and psychological analysis by professionals, over a period of time. So I believe my diagnosis to be legit. But full disclosure, I also know that in my younger years, I was guilty of using mental illness as an excuse, and misusing it for attention. Shame on me, right? Trust me, I felt the full weight of taking a “thorn in my side” GOD has allowed, and abusing it for personal gain. And no sooner did I, and I confessed that junk and vowed to not do it again! It is an illness, not an excuse, not a drama-grabber and not an attention-gainer. And if God has allowed it, it is not my job to abuse it. I’ll close with an encouraging word for 3 groups of people:

>If you *think* you have mental-illness, seek Christian professional help (if you need a recommendation, email me).
>If you *know* you have mental illness, be a good steward with it (read Paul’s account of his “thorn,” 2 Corinthians 12)
>If you *don’t* have mental illness, don’t use it for personal gain,  give God thanks you don’t, and say a prayer for those who do.

I hope this encourages someone today!

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