In this video interview with former EPM staff member Julia (Stager) Mayo, we discuss the question: There’s a lot of talk about mental health. How do you see mental health as being related to spiritual attack?
Randy: Mental health was around before people started looking into psychology and there was even such a word. In the Bible, you find people who are mentally healthy and unhealthy. A huge part of our unhealthiness is due to sin and the fact that we are sinners, though not all mental health issues are sinful.
There’s a time when the brain may be malfunctioning, and there may be medications that can help the person. Our mind and our brain are not the same thing, but they overlap. There’s the physical brain, and then we have this spiritual, immaterial thing that is called a mind. We need to do what we can to see that, as Scripture says, our minds are in conformity to Christ: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Julia: It makes me think of how Jesus addresses our heart, our soul, our minds, and our bodies. It’s important to look at a person as a whole unit, and not just simply address a problem as spiritual. Because if the problem is spiritual, it’s also affecting the rest of that person as well.
Randy: That’s right. And there’s also the aspect of spiritual attack you were asking about. That can be a demonic or satanic attack upon a person. Certainly the evil one and demons can prompt us to think in certain ways. Scripture talks about the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Our society and culture influences us to think in very unhealthy ways about beauty, attractiveness, sex and money. There’s a lot of wrong ways of looking at life that we inherit from our culture. So we’ve got to get back to God’s Word, assemble with God’s people, get wise counsel, and address these issues of mental health in our lives and the lives of our families.
Julia (Stager) Mayo holds a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary. She was previously part of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, and still does occasional research work for Randy Alcorn.