Mental Illness Article, Part 2



Mental Illness Article, Part 2

Point 2: “Freedom requires sound decision making”.

Key Quote: “I’ve made a decision and now I must face the consequences.” (J. Michael Straczynski)

Freedom from anything requires sound decision making, as there is a consequence to every made decision. If you “text and drive” and your inattentiveness hits a pedestrian, the consequences of that unsound action is that you killed the individual, you lose your license, and are incarcerated. Even though the action was unintentional, the consequence of your unsound act remains destructive and irreversible. In a world of consequences of every decision made, freedom requires sound decision making.
Unstable life conditions often result from consequential poor decisions. Depending upon your mental illness, adversity experienced can often create malfunctions and additional chaos in the mentally ill mind. Because it can become so difficult to remove the “growing storm” that grows inside the mind, it may be even more critical to choose wisely. To prevent “our mental illnesses from pouring gasoline on a fire” that bad choices already created, we must learn to be more careful beforehand in our choices and actions.

For example, if a manic depressive person loses all his money from compulsive gambling, and thus, cannot pay his bills and goes hungry daily, these stressors could exacerbate the mania and severe depression problems, he already experiences. Or if an abuser abuses a mentally ill child, the resulting shame, negative self-concept, doubts and fears that the abused kid experiences can traumatize and worsen the child’s mental illness, inciting his OCD disability.

Consequences often put individuals “behind the eight ball”, especially the disabled. It often leads to negative thinking and emotions impairing how we “label” ourselves, others, and the past, present, and future. A self-fulfilling prophecy of negativity often intensities bad situations; thus, when we need to rely upon sound advice and know the difference between truth and falsehoods in the process. Since God knows all things and is perfect Love – we should rely upon God’s Word and direction, since TRUTH and LOVE combined never steers anyone wrong.
Point 3: “Making Sound Decisions Involves obedience to God’s love commands”

Key Quote: “Obedience is the mother of success and is wedded to safety.” (Aeschylus)

In Psalms 32:8, “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise and watch over you.’” Positive consequences in our favor happen when we heed his instructions, including His commandments. For example, in Romans 13:9-10, it says:

“The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder”, “Do not steal”, “Do not covet”, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself. “Love does not harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

One reason why we should love is that it brings us joy, according to John 15:9-11:

“As the Father has loved me, so I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: ‘Love each other as I have loved you.’”

“Obeying God’s love laws does no wrong and provides overflowing joy to the giver (it also does same to receiver of love)”. In general, obedience to God’s instructions stabilizes us during our life storms; inversely, disobedience destabilizes us, especially when face adversity, according to Luke 6:46-49:

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!” when you don’t do what I say? I will show what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters nd beat against the house – it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins


THE PROBLEM: The Society That Disobeyed

Key Quote: “The great test of life is obedience to God.” (Ezra Taft Benson)

Key Quote: “A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality. (Winston Churchill)

Floodwaters or life storms beat upon the brick house (freedom, hope, family, community, a dream to chase, an individual). If we build each brick (a decision, a thought, experience, person, family, races, communities, nations, world) upon a solid foundation (obedience to God’s love laws), the “house” will remain firm, “because it is well-built”. Unfortunately, if the “house” is structured upon instability (disobedience), it will “eventually crumble into a heap of ruins.”

The battleline between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn). Thievery, sexual promiscuity, rape, family discord, violence, lying, murder, hatred, and selfishness are all examples of sins that often destabilizes and eventually crumbles “houses”. In contrast, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” are all attributes that will stabilize and keep strong “houses” (freedom, hope, families, communities, dreams, a person).
Philip Zimbardo once said, “The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.” When a piece of wood repeatedly becomes hit by a swing ax, the resistance and binding power of the wood becomes weaker and weaker after each blow of the ax. Once the wood gets to its breaking point, it finally splits. This is the predicament of the human soul, as everyone has a breaking point, a threshold where people finally lose hope from adversity, and a breaking point of choosing good or evil. Once these lines get crossed, when people choose hopelessness and immorality, man will never be the same:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction . . . The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation”. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Strength To Love, 1963.

In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices. (James E. Faust)

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