Thursday, March 5, 2015

Love Wins

Image result for mental illness meme

Love wins.  Not judgment.  Not condemnation.  Not hate.  God's love.  God is love.  God first loved us so much that He sacrificed His Son for us so that we could have communion with Him.  It is not His judgment that saves us.  It is His love.

I have heard that mental illness is a sin.  Therefore all you need to is confess it and change your thinking in line with God's Word.  That is all well and good but if it were that easy I doubt people would choose mental illness. 

We don't choose it.  We feel tremendous guilt and shame for having it.  Loading the sin answer on us then telling us just to change our thinking is like telling a cat to think like a dog.  Impossible.

Of course nothing is impossible with God.  Sometimes He does choose to miraculously heal, like in Bible times.  But I think it was more common then as there was no other resource.  Not only that, Jesus healed people not just to prove that He was God, but that He loved those who were the untouchables of that day: disabled, mentally ill, prostitutes, and lepers.  God touched those that no one else would touch. 

But now we live in a time and place where there are many medical treatments for many medical disorders, like cancer, heart disease, the list goes on.  Logic dictates that medical advances can also help those of us with mental illness. 

The only people I can trust are those who validate me and this thinking. I will no longer listen to those who say it is sin.  I will no longer listen to those who judge me.  I judge myself enough thank you very much. 

I always say that those of us with disability and/or mental illness are the last minority.  We are disliked from all sides.  I think we scare people.  People fear that they may be part of our community one day.  No one wants a disability.  No one wants a mental illness.

God is love.  If we want to show the world who God is, and bring our country back to Him, it is not about rules.  It is not about living the right way or being the right kind of person.  It is about loving our neighbor as ourselves.  This is a lot harder than telling people how to live their lives. I can speak from experience.  It is a lot harder to love someone who hates me.

Loving people is the greatest challenge that God has entrusted to us.   But it does not mean allowing people to manipulate us or disrespect our boundaries.  It is loving people where they are at, right here, right now.  It is not saying better get yourself right before you join our church.  It is saying come to our church!  We love you!  We welcome you!  Warts and all! 

That's how I felt at my church.  I felt loved and welcomed for the first time in a long time from a group of Christians.  They didn't preach the rules or tell me how to live.  I knew what was right and wrong.  I had known all that for a long time.  But I had no experience of God's love.  It was a concept that was beyond me. 

I am so thankful for the lovely ladies in my Bible study group.  They demonstrate God's love to me.  My family demonstrates it.  My pets demonstrated it.  These people always comment positively on my blog, and I so appreciate it.  I think we all need that.  We all need to know we are loved, we are welcomed.  Especially now, when we live in such a divisive world, politically and religiously.  We live in a world of the internet that people use to spread their hate. 

It is love that breaks the human heart.  It is love that makes the eyes weep.  It is love that makes our lives worth living.

P.S. A new app for those with mental illness and those for loved ones with mental illness available free for apple and android products.  It is nami air and it is an online, anonymous support system. 

P.P.S. The title of this post is from Rob Bell's enlightening book Love Wins.  I know it is controversial, but you know what Dr. Phil always says, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!  None of us has all the answers and if we think we do we are sorely mistaken.

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