Growing in Faithfulness for a Healthier Mind and Heart
I hope this message finds you in the warmth of God’s love, ready to embark on an inspiring journey through faithfulness and its profound impact on our mental health. As your Christian mental health counselor, I’m thrilled to delve into the concept of faithfulness – one of the precious fruits of the Spirit – and how it can shape our thoughts, actions, and lives for the better. So, I invite you to settle in, perhaps with a warm beverage and a heart open to receive, because you’re about to be blessed with insights and stories that can transform the way you think and approach your mental well-being.
UNVEILING THE SPIRITUAL FRUIT OF FAITHFULNESS
Faithfulness, as beautifully described in Galatians 5:22-23, is one of the fruits of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” It’s more than just being reliable or loyal; it’s about having a heart that remains steadfast, unwavering, and true to God and His purposes.
THINKING IN FAITHFULNESS
Our thought patterns play a crucial role in our mental health journey. The key to applying faithfulness practically is to start thinking in faithfulness. We’ll explore questions that can help you cultivate faithfulness in your thought life, from trusting in God’s promises to maintaining a hopeful outlook. But how can we practically apply faithfulness to our mental health goals, especially when we’ve become accustomed to certain thought patterns and behaviors that may not serve us well? I am glad you asked! Sometimes the best way to answer a question, is with a question (or 5). As you read the questions below, take time to consider the answers. Maybe close your eyes and reflect, meditate and pray.
- Trust in God’s Promises: Do I believe and trust in God’s promises for my life, including my mental health? How can I meditate on His Word to renew my mind and reinforce my trust in Him?
- Loyalty to Self: Am I loyal to my own well-being, recognizing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God? How can I practice self-compassion and worship Him as an act of faithfulness to the body, mind, and soul God has entrusted to me?
- Consistency: How can I maintain consistency in my thought life, continually realigning my thoughts with faithfulness to God’s unwavering love and His plans for my life?
- Positive Expectations: Do I maintain a hopeful and positive outlook on my mental health journey, believing in God’s power to bring healing and renewal? How can I replace negative assumptions with positive expectations?
- When faced with old patterns that no longer serve me, how can I recommit to healthy habits that promote mental wellness? What strategies can help me remain loyal to these habits, even when faced with challenges?
A SHORT STORY OF FAITHFULNESS: THE EXAMPLE OF POLYCARP
Let me share an inspiring story of faithfulness from early Christian history, that of Polycarp, a bishop of Smyrna in the 2nd century. Polycarp’s life and faithfulness continue to serve as a powerful example for us. Polycarp lived in a time of intense persecution against Christians in the Roman Empire. Despite the threats and dangers he faced, he remained a devoted follower of Christ and a faithful leader of his Christian community. In his old age, Polycarp was arrested for his refusal to renounce his faith and offer sacrifices to the Roman gods. He was brought before the Roman authorities and given a choice: deny Christ or face execution. Polycarp’s response was a remarkable display of faithfulness. He is said to have declared, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”
Polycarp’s unwavering faith and refusal to renounce Christ led to his martyrdom. He was burned at the stake, but his faithfulness remained unshaken. In the midst of the flames, Polycarp’s final words were a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the privilege of sharing in Christ’s suffering. Polycarp’s story is a powerful reminder that faithfulness to Christ is not contingent on a life of ease and comfort. In the face of persecution and certain death, he chose faithfulness to his Lord. His example challenges us to remain steadfast in our faith, even when faced with adversity, and to trust in God’s faithfulness to sustain us through all circumstances.
As we navigate our journey toward mental health and well-being, let the example of Polycarp encourage us to hold fast to our faith and remain faithful, even in the most challenging situations. His story reminds us that faithfulness to Christ is a source of strength and hope, even in the face of trials.
REALIGNING THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS
Realigning your thoughts and behaviors with faithfulness requires practice and patience. It means leaving behind old patterns that no longer serve you and embracing new habits that align with God’s faithfulness to your well-being. The examples of faithful figures from Christian history, like Polycarp, will inspire you to stand strong in your faith, even in the face of adversity.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
— Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
This verse encourages us to be strong and courageous, trusting in God’s faithfulness and presence in our lives. It serves as a reminder that even in challenging times, we can find strength and courage through our faith in Him. I want to remind you that your mental health journey is not one you have to undertake alone. If you find yourself struggling, facing challenges, or needing guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether you’re grappling with questions about faithfulness or experiencing difficulties on your path to mental wellness, I am here as your Christian mental health counselor to offer support, guidance, and prayer. You are not alone in this journey, and together, we can navigate the path toward healing and wholeness. May the fruit of faithfulness guide your steps, and may you find the strength to reach out when needed.
Kindness is the language that dogs and humans understand without words.
Paws and peace,
Leon Lopez, Smile Expert 🐶
Exciting news! The photography for our newsletters will be coming from Irita Reagan; an amazing photographer in TN and my role-model in this world. Please see her work here & you can also follow her on instagram!
With faith and kindness as your companions, may your life be filled with serenity, laughter, and boundless joy.
Blessings and love,