SERIES: 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
In the New American Standard Bible, our passage reads as follows:
Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ – I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Most recently, this passage has intrigued me as I have been considering how verses 3-5 might be helpful for those who struggle with mental health issues, especially those who face depression and anxiety.
This is not to say that Paul specifically had mental health issues, as we often hear them described today, in mind when he was writing these words. On the other hand, the principles behind his words—since they pertain to our thought life—would seem to be applicable as effective measures to combat mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
According to the National Institute for Mental Health, approximately 20% of the US adult population experiences mental illness in a given year. An estimated 19.1% of the US adult population suffer from an anxiety disorder. According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people in the world are affected by depression.Depressed? Anxious? Remember that thoughts fixed on God lead to perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3-4 #perfectpeace Click To Tweet
I don’t pretend to be an authority on mental health, but from personal experience and from observation of others, it seems to me that especially in the case of depression and anxiety, there is an opportunity for us to experience a greater peace through allowing our minds to be “conquered,” if you will, by the truth of God’s word and by learning to discipline our minds to be more steadfastly focused on Christ (cf. Isaiah 26:3). It’s in this regard that we can benefit from learning more about how our thought life can be influenced by meditating upon Scripture.
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