We have discovered a dramatic lack of resources when it comes to a theology of mental health. Why is this? Do we feel like the Bible doesn’t speak to mental health because it does not have the modern medical precision we do today? Are the characters of the Bible relegated to flannel gram caricatures or were they real people who experienced all the highs and lows we experience? God’s Word speaks to our modern condition and our hope is to find where it speaks to those of us with central nervous system disorders.
One of our mentees has said he feels much like Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4. He feels like this time of difficulty has come over him for some purpose, though he may not know what. This scene is interesting no matter what our knowledge of Scripture. Here we see a man whose hubris is clear. As John Goldingay quotes in his commentary on Daniel, “The sense of achievement that Nebuchadnezzar here expresses is severely understated compared with that expressed in his successive building inscriptions in Babylon, which occupy 126 pages of text and translation in Langdon’s edition of them (p. 89).” This man built his foundations on his own work and worth. Our mentee is not arrogant like Nebuchadnezzar, but he has been noticing that much of his life has been in service to idols. Yet, what is an idol? So many of us think that an idol is a little figurine to which we give offerings. However, it is much more foundational than that. An idol is really anything to which we give glory and honor, which should belong only to God.
These good things in his life, even ministry and family can become ultimate things. God is the only ultimate thing, and only He is worthy of our worship and praise. We can do nothing without Him and nothing else will bring us the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) we desperately crave. God takes it so seriously when we seek fulfillment in something that is not going to provide it, that He must address it. It is for our betterment and fulfillment to seek Him because nothing else will satisfy. As Jesus said in John 4:13-14, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Remember these words when we ask God to tear down our idols. More may be built on them than we realize. When we leave the well of false water, it may feel like we are dying of thirst. Remember that this was done so that we would not rely on ourselves, but on God who provides living water through Christ. Sometimes we even have to lose something good to seek something better.