47 Question 4

True mental illness is a medical condition that should be treated by an appropriate doctor.  Mood swings, manic feelings, depression, and other conditions can often be treated with medicine.  Some people have been helped tremendously by doctors, and we can thank the Lord for the advancement in science and medicine that has produced proper treatment for legitimate medical problems.

Having a mental illness is not a sin; however we are always accountable for our actions.  Since most illnesses are treatable to some degree, we have the responsibility to seek out and follow the best medical treatment available.  The worst thing a person can do is to begin using his sickness as an excuse for his actions.  When we do this, we are actually saying that we have no control, we cannot overcome our urges, and therefore are we are not responsible for the things we do.  This is totally false.

Every person is born with a sin nature.  That means each one of us has a desire to rebel against the Lord and do the things that bring us pleasure.  Proverbs 5:22 tells us that, “The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.”  The sins that we commit draw us into a trap.  Sin is a harsh master.  It can hold us in such a way that we think we can never be free.  However, there is freedom, and that freedom is found in Jesus Christ.  John 8:34-36 says, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  When we put our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are not only saved from the penalty of sin, we are also saved from the power of sin.  One day we will be saved from the very presence of sin when the Lord returns to take us to be with Himself in the Glory.  Romans 6:17-18 says, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”  Notice that we are all servants.  We are either the servants of sin, or we are the servants of righteousness.  It’s not that Christians do not sin anymore, but as we read in Romans 6:14, “Sin shall not have dominion over you…”  Sin no longer rules us; righteousness rules us.

Having a mental illness does mean that there may be areas in our lives that we will struggle with, maybe more than others.  One who truly believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and is seeking to follow Him must face these weak areas like he would any other temptation through the help of the Holy Spirit. We read in Romans 13:12-14, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”  Also in Ephesians 6:10-18 we learn of the armor of God.  That says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.    Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

You stated that “sometimes manic takes over.”  With proper Christian counseling, prayer, studying God’s Word, support from fellow believers, and dependence on the Lord, you can prevent this from happening.  It may be difficult at first, and it may continue to be a struggle for you for the rest of your life, but we are assured in Philippians 1:6 that, “…He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”