Adam Lanza, a 20-year old man, after first killing his mother, went to a Newtown Connecticut Elementary school, shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults. This incident has focused a lot of attention on mental illness and mental health issues.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in the latest annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report, reports that one in five American adults suffered from mental illness within the past year, with one in 20 serious mental illness that resulted in "functional impairment". That being the case, it begs the question of why mental health care in various communities has been undergoing cuts and experiencing less support from the government. Currently, the largest mental health facilities are for inmates at the Los Angeles County Jail in California, Cook County Jail in Illinois and Rikers Island in New York.
With focus increasing on mental illness, perhaps we should stop and consider what is means and what causes it. One definition of “Mental” reads “relating to spirit or idea as opposed to matter” and “Mental disorder” is defined as “mental or bodily condition marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological functioning of the individual—called also mental illness”.
Barring physiological reasons for mental disability, I believe the root cause may lie with a lack of spiritual maturity. I believe if we start putting a lot more focus on getting healthy spiritually, we will start seeing a decline in mental health issues, because the truth is, that we are spiritual beings, whether we choose to believe it or not. As human beings it is very important that we get in tune with our Creator and address the issues that we have to deal with spiritually. Man was created in God’s image and was equipped with all that he needed to be in a perfect relationship with God, Who had provided man with all the needed to live. All man had to do was to trust and believe in Him – trusting and believing being the basis of any meaningful relationship. But man chose not to trust God, and as a result, separated himself and the whole human race from God. He chose to believe the lies of Satan, instead. It is because of that poor choice that Satan got an entry into the heart and mind of man, wreaks havoc, and we, descendants of the first couple, are born by default so to say, to condemnation. However, God being the all powerful God that He is, full of love, mercy and grace, has provided an option to each and every individual born, to reverse this fallen situation, and make his or her own choice, to either be reconciled with Him and return to “Eden” and have everlasting life, OR to continue to live believing in the lies of Satan as the first father did, and live and die condemned. God, in His infinite mercy, love and grace has provided us a Savior, His own Son whom He sent to us, so that all who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life, as was offered to Adam and Eve in the beginning. We are offered the same choice, to believe in Him and trust His Word, or believe the lies of Satan. Christ came to open eyes that were blind, heal the sick, raise up the dead to live again and heal those disturbed in the heart and mind – mentally tortured by demons and legions – a bondage resulting in behaviors like that of Adam Lanza.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we need to stop and reflect on the fact that Christ did not come so that we can get or give presents. He came to save the lost, who are condemned already, so that those who accept Him will have eternal life and will be set free from the bondage of Satan who perpetrates all the evil that exists in this world. God bless and A Merry Christmas from my family to yours.
Kalenga pastors His Village church, coaches girls soccer at CCHS and is involved with Rize-Up Youth Ministries. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org