I read an article today entitled: Amanda Bynes: A Reminder that Mental Health Woes Flourish in Our 20’s? Sometimes these stories are written to mock and ridicule people for their erratic behavior. But as Christians we are called to show compassion for people. Mental Illness is no laughing matter and as the people of God, we need to talk about the subject because some of our brothers and sisters in church suffer from this illness.
Here is a thought-provoking story I read on preachingtoday that I think could share some light. Let me share it with you here and leave you to answer the questions posed at the end of the article. Please feel free to leave a response. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
NPR’s popular radio show This American Life featured an episode titled “The Devil Inside Me.” The show asked various people if they ever felt like they were under the spell of an “inner voice” that held them in bondage to unwanted thoughts. According to the show’s host, “It was like people had waited all their lives for somebody to ask them this question.”
Here were some of the responses from the interviews:
- A man says, “I certainly know the voice you’re talking about.”
- Another man says, “The voice is irresistible, always. I’m in the thrall of that voice.”
- A woman says, “Totally out of control. It’s got this life of its own, and I can’t tame it anymore.”
- A woman says, “I actually have a name for the voice. I call it Stan. Stan is the guy who tells me to have the extra glass of wine. Stan is the guy who tells me to smoke.”
- A man says, “I remember somehow realizing just how finely calibrated the voice was to every nuance, every part of my feelings, including the feeling that I didn’t want to smoke cigarettes. And it’s like, ‘[You] might as well have another cigarette, because this is it.'”
- A woman who just got engaged hears her Voice say: “You better try your hardest to make sure he doesn’t take [the ring] away, because he’s going to find out the truth about you and how much you suck. So you better distract him with a really thin body.”
At the end of the episode the host asks someone, “Do you feel like the voice is winning?” A woman replies, “Right now, yeah. I think I’m in some serious trouble, to be honest.”
What do the voice represent?
The “Voice” could represent Satan
The voice could represent our own fallen or fleshly nature
the voice could represent our unhealed wounds, or all three.
Now, this calls for some serious answers to some very serious questions. Here is a group of question for you consideration: Does Satan have the power to possess people? Can Satan speak through people? Is his activity limited to only unbelievers or can he possess believers in a similar fashion.
Another group of questions are as follows: What is our understanding about mental illness? Can mental illness possibly be influenced by the demonic, fallen or fleshly nature, or unhealed wounds or all three at the same time. What should be the approach to mental care.