Remove the Stigma: Jesus Did

Unfortunately, stress and other mental health illnesses are subject to stigmatization more than any other illness and hence not openly talked about. In fact, most patients suffer the devastating effects of the illness as well as the attached social exclusion and prejudices. Stigmatization of Mental related illnesses has a long tradition with ancient Greeks, using ‘stigma’ as a brand to mark slaves or criminals, while millennia imprisoned, tortured or killed mental illness sufferers.

The Middle Age, viewed mental illness as punishment from God where sufferers were thought to be possessed by the devil and were burned or thrown in madhouses where they were chained to the walls or their beds. Likewise, the Christian circle struggles to deal with or to address stress and other mental health illnesses. This is probably due to Christianity’s ‘perfect image problem’ that can sometimes lead Christians to view stressed or struggling Christians as weak, failing to trust God or living in secret sin. This unfortunately creates guilt and a feeling of condemnation which leads to isolation.

But what does the bible say about inclusion and support of those who are weak and perhaps not performing as we would like ?.  Jesus, the most inclusive being ever, knew that the ultimate solution when experiencing burnout and distress is to find rest and refreshment in Him. He called out to All, with no exceptions when he declared

“Come to me, All you who are weary, burnt out and distressed, and I will give you rest”.  Matthew 11:28”

I broke this verse down and learnt a lot about what Jesus was trying to say here.

“Come to me”, this is an invitation of love, commonly used when calling to a child who is upset or sick and who needs a cuddle, sympathy or mercy. The child usually comes and receives the cuddle, its a healing experience where they can tell all their distress or just rest their weary souls onto the adult shoulders. They usually leave with a smile and feeling much better and restored. Similarly, Jesus is calling to us and our response should be one of expectation because he has promised.

“All” nothing can be more inclusive than this calling “all” anyone and everyone is included in this invitation.

“who are weary”

“I will give you rest”, The promise of Jesus  when we answer his call is that he will give us rest, relief, vacation. It is an assured end result to all those who come to him, they receive his rest. No one is excluded, no stigma.

I watched a program on TBN called When Faith Gets Shaken. It’s an amazing programme, albeit hard to watch. It features people who have gone through huge struggles with different circumstances in life, it also tells how they have progressed and overcome burnout and depression with the help of God. This programme has opened my eyes and heart to another world where humans can survive huge pressures and where they can fall so far down and still get up and find rest and refreshment in Jesus.

2 thoughts on “Remove the Stigma: Jesus Did

  1. I have been dealing with depression as well as PTSD and on medication for it and a Christ follower for 30 years and my personal perception to viewing ” perfect image” refers most notable to Jesus as the perfect image as He is the exact representation of God but was born human to save us from sin. There is a misconception with many who refuse to come to HIM based on they feel like that they have to be perfect or they are to far gone for Jesus to save them. God often refines a person’s character to become more like HIS as a person struggles through life’s trials. I have been welcomed into my local church with open arms who have supported me through all life’s trials for the past 26 years this coming March. A person’s true value comes from Christ alone for HE created him or her with a unique calling all their own but their sense of value and wealth comes from their experiences and what they have been called in life. People that deal with mental and emotional traumas and illnesses need to know that Jesus is the One to cling to. The Church, the body of Christ need to more than ever reach out and be the Lord’s hands and feet in this world. The things that have helped me the most with dealing with my situation as follows:

    God has used, Battlefield of the Mind as a group Bible study; Theophostic Prayer Ministry which is basically having a session of prayer with a person trained in this ministry who can ask probing questions for example one of my issues was that I felt ashamed and ugly. The person that I met with would start asking me to ask the Lord where and when the first instance of where I felt and sensed that I this way. When the Lord revealed to me when the first time was then the other person would what does The Lord say about it and what lie is The Lord wanting to expose to you in order to set you free from the lies and other bondage as well. I use to have pretty vivid nightmares and flashbacks until I went through these two things. I must also add that I also have seen many Psychiatrists and Therapists in my life and continue to do so but none have truly helped me the way that The Lord Jesus Christ did in my life. I will say that you also need to have a good resource on Forgiveness, the One that came into possession first was Total Forgiveness but Joyce Meyer also has a teaching on Forgiveness that I heard on her program. It is called Burnt, But Not Bitter. To learn more about who I am and my testimony check out my blog at http://www.poetryquick.wordpress.com .

    I commented to encourage you, the writer as well as your audience. May the LORD bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you lovely, beautifully said! I love what you’ve written because from experience you have come to really understand the love and value you have in Christ and that is amazing! I will re-read this later as I can pull offf some great points you have shared here so thank you
      Jambie

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: