How is your mental health?
Not too long ago if I asked you that question you probably would not have known how to respond. Mental health was not a thing. Focusing on your own mental well being was completely a foreign concept.
For many people that is still the case today. Yet we live in a world where I believe that it needs to become more of a focus. The mental well being of our country is quickly devolving. We are in a pretty sad state when it comes to what is going on inside of our heads.
Now I would argue that in large part it is because of what we are putting inside of our heads. For many of us the content that is going into our brains is awful. We are consuming more junk than ever before. We have more access than we should to all sorts of content and we pour it into our brains completely unfiltered.
The average human spends 2 hours and 24 minutes a day on social media consuming content. Content that we largely do not control. We have new phrases in our culture like binge watching that we use to describe how we intake content in a very short period of time.
The way that we engage with information today is at a level that is astronomically disproportionate in comparison to what it has been in the past.
The question then we have to ask is what do we do with that information once it is inside our heads? How do we control it? This is definitely a challenge.
The reason it is a challenge is because by and large the vast majority of information that we consume is of this world and not of God. You would be hard pressed to look at the shows that are being binge watched and argue that they are glorifying to God and edifying for any of us. They are entertaining at best and against God at worst.
In 1 and 2 Corinthians Paul was writing to a culture that was very smart. They had all the knowledge that you could want in that day and they were experiencing issues. They had internal problems. They had worries and concerns, and many were starting to follow after the information of the world rather than following after God. Sound familiar? It could be us today.
In his second letter to this group Paul made a very important statement:
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The information against God needed to be defended against and all of the thoughts that came with that information needed to be taken captive.
Which brings us back to the beginning. How is your mental health? Are you actively taking thoughts captive that may be from information that is clearly against God?
I think we can do a better job of taking our thoughts captive and working on mental health.
How do we do that? One word. Sabbath.
Sabbath literally means abstinence. We abstain from things. God implemented the concept of Sabbath to get his people to rest. He knew that they needed it. In our world today we need it more than ever before.
I think the Sabbath was designed as the very first mental health day before it was ever even a thing. It was a period of time to get away from the things that were causing us stress and worry so that we could take a break. We don’t do this in our culture anymore and it is time that we started it again. We all need a break.
My challenge right now then is to start observing the Sabbath once more. This time in the form of getting away from information. Pick a day every week to unplug from your devices and unplug your devices. Put them down for 24 hours and see what happens.
I am willing to bet you start getting some of your sanity back! In doing so we will protect our mental health much better and be able to take our thoughts captive. It will be glorious! Try it and see what happens. I bet it will be amazing!