Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Some people choose to be blind to the obvious, deaf to rebuttals, and carelessly unthinking. The motives behind this are anyone’s guess.
I am not describing people who thoughtfully disagree. This is not about making mistakes or having less education. In no way am I referring to opposing religious points of view, immaturity of youth, or differences in mental capacity.
I’m talking about those who literally flat-out refuse to consider outside perspectives and continue to do so. Social media gives voice to the opinions of such people. One scent of rumor and they are off, spreading make-believe “facts” without flinching.
One ancient example
This is not only a modern issue. In approximately 30 AD, an amazing event took place in Jerusalem.* Here too, scoffers denied what they were seeing and hearing. Immediately they assumed the worst and began defaming those involved.
Jerusalem was an international hub of activity with leaders from countries around the world meeting there. At the time of this particular event, presumably there were more than the usual number of visitors because of the annual Jewish Feast of Weeks, celebrating the first harvest of grain.
One morning was interrupted when at least twelve Jewish men experienced the phenomenal. It is safe to say that Jerusalem and the world were never the same again.
These men (with perhaps others totaling around 120 people), were gathered in a house when suddenly there was a sound like a mighty rushing wind. Each person saw tongues as of fire appear and rest on his head.
Then it became interesting.
The amazing and the absurd
This group began speaking in foreign languages not previously learned. We know this was not gibberish because thousands of Jerusalem citizens and visitors came running at the sound.
People from every nation under heaven saw evidence of the power of God. Each heard of Jesus and salvation preached in his or her native language. Naturally, astonishment seized the crowd. Questions circled. What does this mean? Are not all the speakers from the area known as Galilee? Bewildered, there was no denying what was happening in front of their eyes.
Some observers though jumped to the only conclusion they were willing to accept. Surely, these Jews, speaking intelligently in languages thousands of foreigners understood, must be… drunk. Yes, that makes sense. Drunk persons often burst out in perfect oration in tongues they do not know. Sure.
That is why we cannot fix stupid when one gladly embraces it. Some people do not want to ponder. It is easier to dismiss the incredible than to face it. Quite simply, brainless is their comfort zone.
Ignorance is fixable through education. Closed minds are opened the same way. Hearts and thinking patterns – all changeable. I know this because I have grown. You and I are not those who refuse to think through difficult topics. This blog appeals to us because we want to learn.
Spread the word! Evidence is compiling fast that major depression is not an indicator of a personality or spiritual flaw. Other forms of mental illness also respond well to treatment. Denying mental illness exists, or that depression is not an illness, is to ignore the witness of millions of us who have lived it.
I encourage each of us, yes me too, to continue thoughtful consideration of mental health issues. Refusal to understand affects social perception. That in turn affects treatment options.
Examine. Pray. Seek wisdom. Be an antithesis to stupid.
**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.
*From the Bible book Acts. Chapter two.