Faith & Healing: Blessed on Those with Mental Illness

Anyone who is familiar with the Sermon on the Mount is familiar with the Eight Beatitudes in it.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

– Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10

I often think of those who are poor of spirit as those who, like me, battle mental illness. Because it can be so incredibly hard to maintain high spirit. Yet while here on Earth there might be those who stigmatize mental illness and close the door to those who battle internal demons, there is no stigma in the Kingdom of Heaven. Indeed, at the heart of the Beatitudes is the sentiment that the values and hierarchy of Earth are left at the Pearly Gates and the last among society’s structure shall be first in His kingdom.

Unfortunately, there are too many Christians who don’t live that way, who don’t show kindness to the stranger who might be struggling with demons only they can see. Perhaps we see a taste of this when the man comes to Jesus asking him to heal his demon possessed son (possibly an illness like epilepsy), and the man says that the other disciples haven’t been able to heal the son. Jesus expresses frustration with this, because we all should have the power to treat one another with love and kindness and compassion. And maybe that wouldn’t literally heal our darknesses and exorcise our demons, but it goes farther than people give it credit for. Yet only Jesus can do what even His disciples can’t.

It gives me comfort too, knowing that God sees us. Yes He sees our darkness, He sees us at our worst, but He also forgives. And He sees past that darkness, sees the real us and knows that despite our demons we are deserving of being lifted to His Kingdom. He is with us, and through Him anything is possible. Certainly just as comforting and saving a thought as the very fact that He so loved us and so loved the world that He sent his only begotten son to save us from our sins.

And hopefully, this helps comfort all of you as well.

Thank you for reading. Have a good week.

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