For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
Although this is one variation of this verse, it got me thinking of the term “sound mind” and the religious intentions behind it. Other versions of the Bible use the term “self discipline” over “sound mind” as seen here in the New King James Version.
Diving into the meaning of a sound mind, I did the research regarding what a sound mind meant in this scenario, of Paul writing to his son, Timothy about encouragement and hope for the future and to trust in God.
My understanding of the verse and even of the chapter itself sort of led me to believe we are given the spirit (through Christ) of power, love, and of sound mind. Which is fine and all, but then who gives us the ailments or illnesses to deter us from having sound mind? In other words, who created mental illness and other mental disorders? Is that an act of love from God to learn from my adversities to bring me closer to Him? Or is mental illness an act of Satan who attacks us daily and hourly with issues to deter us from Christ?
I feel like this almost has to go in line with the basic atheist question, “If God is so good then why are all these bad things going on in the world?” And to be honest, and admittedly embarrassed by this, I have no clue. I have no clue about the apologetics that go on with defending biblical scripture and I don’t know why they have different versions of the Bible and why some are considered better than others.
I do know, however, that God has impacted my life in a way that is mind changing and life altering. I should be dead right now with all the stupid things I have done in my life, yet I sit in my bed, in the lair writing this to you all about my testimony every week about how I am doing with my bipolar disorder. I am here to be a reflection of Christ and no I am not perfect no I don’t reflect Him in all of His perfection and Holiness. But I am a sinner who asked to be saved, repented for my sins and that is what separates one from Heaven and Hell after one passes away. Not any good deed you do in your lifetime will get you into Heaven unless you repent and asked to be saved. The reverse is also true; as much as we want to be a reflection of Christ, no amount of sinning you do is going to leave you stranded in Hell if you repent for your sins and ask to be saved.
This isn’t a post to convert anybody because I am not here to do that. All I do here on my blog is share my thoughts, feelings, and passions and I don’t push that on anyone else because I wouldn’t tolerate it being done to me. However, I feel like it is important to say the things on your mind and this was laying heavy on my heart today knowing that I don’t have all the answers, but maybe some of you do and can enlighten me. My research got as far as an article from a pastor in a town’s newspaper stating the Greek meanings of the words “sound mind” relate back to a salvaged, saved, revitalized mind that is now safe and secure.
With that being said, is it more so we are of “sound mind” because we are with God and whereas before, without Jesus, we were not of sound mind?
These are things I need to know.
I don’t think my first analysis is what God means, but that is after truly articulating things to have a greater understanding of this matter. I mean, I still wonder if mental illness and poverty and houselessness is something invented by God or the devil. Speaking of God and Satan, I wonder if there are angels which most people reflect on as loved ones who went to Heaven, does Satan have angels or I guess devil’s advocates of some sort. I don’t know why but I am imagining like little red monkeys for the devil’s advocates with three pointed pitchforks that breathe out fire balls. Maybe I am just crazy that would be kind of cool to see! Well, not really….but you get my drift.
So somebody should comment below some scripture or their beliefs or other things I may not know about! Please and thank you. 🙂
much love to everyone (even you),
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thank you for sharing your thoughts! food for thought, definitely….
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Hi Danni, couple of points, Timothy wasn’t actually Paul’s son, Paul viewed Timothy as his “spiritual” son. With regard to where do mental health disorders originate from, the thing is, we live in a fallen world, where God’s perfect will for us is not imposed upon us. There was no disease or human death in the Garden of Eden prior to the fall. God promised Israel that they would not suffer any of these diseases if they dedicated themselves solely to Him. God did not tell them that they would not die. They didn’t dedicate themselves to God. They still did get diseases. And yes, they still all died. You don’t get it both ways. That’s like having a friend with “benefits” and then wondering why you got STD. But irrespective of the fallen state that we all find ourselves in, when we turn to God, He can and will walk us through what we may encounter, by not being under the benefits of being in His perfect will. What we see in this work is the results of man’s will being exercised, not God’s perfect will for us.
Sometimes people who trust in God are healed, sometimes they are not, yet people who are not healed and who still believe in God, still continue on. The consequences of sin is death (separation of ourselves from a holy God). Our bodies now all die because we have all sinned. Basically that means that we individually have decided to follow our own thoughts and our own ways versus God’s thoughts or God’s ways. It is the way that we are. We instinctively think about ourselves. That is why Jesus told us that we need to be born again, where His Spirit bonds to our spirit so that we can begin to take our direction from Him. Our spirit is what is truly important because there is a second death. Those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and trust in Him and follow His commandments are promised not to experience that second death but enter into eternal life in the presence of God with a new spiritual body which will no longer be subject to diseases or death.
This gift of life that we have been given and the situation which we find ourselves in, is designed to make us aware of the difference between ourselves and God, who is Holy, and we who are not. Enter Jesus, who not only explained to us what being under God’s will was like, but He actually demonstrated it, perfectly, without sin. There is a big difference between Jesus and you and I.
Giving lip service to God doesn’t work. Saying we acknowledge our sinful ways and trust in Jesus is just the beginning. It does not stop there. If it does stop there, then what we say and what we do are not one and the same. The Christian walk is where we are progressively changed into the image of Christ. That is continual forward movement. Sure we may fall and suffer setbacks but we get up and continue on. It’s a process. We’re supposed to feed on God’s Word, be filled daily with living streams of His Spirit conforming us into His image. It’s not a book that you get to decide to pick up only when you need it and put down when it doesn’t suit your purposes. It doesn’t work that way. It didn’t work for Israel, who are God’s first born, His chosen people, and it won’t work for us, the Gentiles, who have been grafted into God’s garden of His people. Jesus talks about this in the Gospel of John, chapter 15. Jesus also tells us that without Him, we can do nothing. He isn’t kidding. We need Him living in us to change and He actually brings that about when we begin to rely in Him rather than ourselves. Again, progressive, after being “born again”.
God tells us that our ways and our thoughts are not His ways and not His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) The beginning of having a “sound mind” is where we begin to grasp that and take it earnestly to heart.
You asked a lot of questions. I cannot answer all of them here but many of your questions have answers in my https://bcooper.wordpress.com/christian-resources/ webpage. I do know this. God’s love is extended towards you but you do have to actively receive it. It’s not like a card you receive and put on a mantle and then walk away. You take it with you, everywhere you go. And when you do, the healing begins, in many ways that you are not even aware of. If you don’t take it with you, you may remember it but the reality of it diminishes in time and it fades away. Jesus spoke about this too in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13.
I hope and pray that my response answers some of your questions Danni. And I will be keeping you in my prayers. God’s blessings on you and yours. – Bruce
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Thank you for your detailed response. I am still on this journey to not so much find Christ, but to actively follow Him. With that being said, I do have lots of questions. Thanks for shining God’s light and being a good influence in my life, through my blog and yours. Much love, Dani
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If I can assist you at any time Dani, just let me know. My apology for misspelling your name! Blessings!
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