Desiring God
@desiringGod | 479,192 followers
We will find mental health when we stop staring in the mirror, and fix our eyes on the strength and beauty of God.
  · Sprout Social · en
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Total of 329 replies and 637 quotes found
I am a Christian pastor who takes medication for depression and anxiety. This post is harmful, no matter what the intention. Please delete it.
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This tweet is not only irresponsible but also dangerous. If you are seeking help for your mental health, there are resources: doctors, medications, and therapy, which are also in God’s created world.
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ah yes i can’t think of a better way to be happy than *checks tweet again* concentrated delusion
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@desiringGod It's in very poor taste to imply that mental illness is the result of a lack of faith or moral discipline...
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@desiringGod We will find mental health when we stop drowning in the guilt imposed on us by those who blame mental illness on a lack of faith, and utilize all the tools God has given us for wholeness, including good therapists and medication.
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@desiringGod I delight in the beauty of God, and I battle depression. The simple implication in this tweet that good mental health is somehow a matter of spiritual rigor is a damaging and dangerous thing to say without any context. Please rethink this approach.
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These are the types of dangerous statements that the church has been making for decades. It’s a statement with no compassion or knowledge of basic psychology. Medication and counseling is not the enemy of faith.
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Change “mental” to “physical” here and we’d all denounce it.

Change it to “financial stability,” “success,” or even, “happiness” and we’d call it what it is: prosperity gospel.

But somehow we don’t think this applies to mental health.
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Is this a spin off of the Babylon Bee?
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I am the most mentally healthy when I take a handful of psych meds daily, see a therapist three times a week, and use medicinal or behavioral techniques when my PTSD is at its worst, all of which allows me to be able to fix my eyes on the strength and beauty of God.
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Jason Chesnut-no-t-in-the-middle
@desiringGod That’s weird, because I live with sometimes-crippling depression, which, at times, leaves me wishing for death, and I rarely stare into a mirror. Yet somehow all the strength and beauty of God hasn’t changed my brain chemistry.
  · TweetDeck · en
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@desiringGod I have PTSD directly related to having over 250 surgeries. I love Jesus and He is the first one to tell me it’s ok to not be ok...that’s why I need Him. Such an insult to those who suffer silently in pews across America.
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I found mental health when I got over my pride and false sense of what faith is enough to make a doctor’s appointment in which I said “yes” to an antidepressant my doctor had offered before. There was no mirror staring beforehand, there was a desire never to get out of bed again.
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@desiringGod Please rethink this post, which is simply ignorant about mental health. This false information could cause harm.
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okay. just. if you are struggling with mental health - find a therapist. a psychiatrist. and get out of a church that tells you it is your fault you are struggling
  · TweetDeck · en
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I found mental health when I found Prozac. And Prozac is a gift from God. Amen.
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@desiringGod We can also find mental health through counseling and medication.
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@desiringGod Yep. Just like we will find a cure for tooth decay when we “fix our eyes on God” by not brushing our teeth & not going to the dentist. Heck, car-crash deaths can even be avoided if we quit using seatbelts and just “fix our eyes on God”.
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Thank you to those expressing kind concerns. We apologize for leaving off the link that gives the context quoting Clyde Kilby from more than 40 years ago when “mental health” didn’t have the same technical connotations as today.…
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I love @DesiringGod, but I am very disappointed in this statement.

If you are a follower of Jesus & deal with mental illness (me too), it does NOT mean you’re a bad Christian, you don’t have enough faith, or don’t love Jesus enough. Church: learn. about. mental. health. please.
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I struggled with severe depression thru college. It had nothing to do with staring in the mirror. And I met the strength and beauty of God with the help of good therapists, antidepressants, and friends who destigmatized mental health struggles for me.
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@desiringGod I have bipolar. I also fix my eyes on the strength and beauty of God and sometimes I still feel suicidal. Sometimes everything hurts. Sometimes I am living the Psalms, and God is hidden from me. God doesn't "fix" me because of my faithfulness. He meets me because of His.
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No, we will find mental health when we stop thinking that God and religion can fulfill all of our mental health needs.
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Also, don't let anyone in the church EVER tell you that you don't need to go to a therapist because "you've got God."
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Please delete this ridiculous advice. This is pastoral malpractice.
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As long as the church continues to insinuate that mental illness is the result of personal/spiritual failure, it will continue to fail people with mental illnesses. It’s freeing to realize the way your brain works isn’t a function of your lack of faith or desire for God.
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and the false notion that having mental health issues = lacking faith continues. This is incredibly damaging
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This is harmful fundamentalism masquerading as pious spirituality.
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@desiringGod This is horrific. This kind of talk kills people. God gave us the ability to study science and medicine and become doctors and therapists for a reason.
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I fix my eyes on the beauty of God and sometimes I still feel suicidal. Sometimes everything hurts. Sometimes I am living the Psalms, and God is hidden from me. God doesn't "fix" me because of my faithfulness. He meets me because of His.
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@desiringGod As a Christian licensed trauma-informed therapist, I can tell you that whoever wrote this post didn't do any research on the origins of brain-based trauma. Is the next tweet going to be about diabetes being cured by not looking in the mirror? About as relevant advice as this one
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(((Deana "No Family Internment Camps" Holmes)))
@desiringGod please don't delete this tweet. The entire world needs to see how John Piper and his organization don't understand mental illness and pretty much want us dead from no treatment. *scowl*
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@desiringGod Are you implying that all people with mental health issues are self absorbed? That they don’t fix their eyes on the strength & beauty of God? Hugely patronising statement for such a complex condition.
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This is how they shame men. This is one reason why the PCA does not teach Christian hedonism. Mental health issues is evidence of weak faith? #GraceFocus
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OMG. Stop this. This is incredibly unhelpful, irresponsible, & deeply dangerous.

Folks dealing with mental illness should be offered the full range of resources & systems of support, not told that what's wrong them is all about perspective.
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Based on (1) my ThM and 14 yrs of pastoral ministry and (2) my 4 year battle with depression and use of antidepressants, I strongly disagree with this tweet. Yes, we should certainly look to Jesus, but also use every good tool He provides including counselors, doctors, and meds.
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Super helpful to folks who struggle with mental ILLNESS. 👊🏻👍🤙🏻. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏿👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽👎🏽 #LoveYouThough
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Before Jesus died, he was so filled with anxiety that he sweated blood.

Yet, he lived a sinless life.

For those of you who struggle with mental health:

You are valued.
You are important.
You are not a mistake.
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🏳️‍🌈Nate *I Have the Receipts* Sparks🏳️‍🌈
Mental illness is not a lack of faith.

This bullshit theology kills people.
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This is the kind of theology I grew up on. While I think I can find the intention behind it, I nonetheless find it to be profoundly dangerous

I thought I was so damaged when I first saw a therapist. I now look back and see how critical it was to my walk with God & overall health
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Good grief, y’all. Would you give the same advice to someone with cancer? Please do the work to understand the holistic nature of mental illness.
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Before meds, I spent 90% of my time trying to achieve basic functioning. All my energy spent on trying to survive. No time for other people.

After meds, I could see past my mirror. After meds, I had energy to take care of people. After meds, I was frankly a much better Christian
  · Twitter Lite · en
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Or maybe you need real friends because you're isolated. Or maybe you need to see a therapist and tell them what's been done to you. Or maybe medication will help. You probably don't need to be shamed into thinking the problem with you has always been your lack of a god-fix.
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I fix my eyes on the beauty of God daily, I still have an anxiety issue. It’s not that simple. This message is wrong and it is damaging
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This is faith healing heresy and promoting a mind/body dualism that denies that the brain is a physical organ that can get sick just like any other part of the body.
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This is crap. Mental health does not improve/decline depending on how spiritual you are. This sends a harmful message.

Also, it makes other Christians look like absolute idiots. I don't appreciate that.
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Let's try this with cancer instead:

"We will find our cancer healed when we stop staring in the mirror, and fix our eyes on the strength and beauty of God."

Eternally, yes. Practically, no.
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Dianna E. Anderson 🏳️‍🌈
You would not tell someone with a broken leg that their problem is that they aren’t relying on God enough. Don’t tell people struggling with common, fixable mental illnesses that it’s all in their head.
  · TweetDeck · en
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St. Simeon the Largest, Most Beautiful Fool
@desiringGod So you've changed your mind on the "health, wealth, and prosperity" gospel?

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If you're looking in a mirror, you are already gazing on the strength and beauty of God. We are all image bearers of the Divine.
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(((Deana "No Family Internment Camps" Holmes)))
@desiringGod this is absolutely horrible advice. I'm alive today due to a mental health intervention 18 years ago and a pharmaceutical cocktail today. God is a help in recovery but you do wrong to imply medicine and therapy don't help immensely.
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@desiringGod This worldview is incredibly reckless.
If you struggle with mental health it is healthy to get help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)
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The insinuation that mental illness is a direct result of not being a “good enough” Christian is beyond insulting. It’s harmful. It alienates those who need God’s love from the church.
There’s help for the mentally ill in the world God created. Mental illness is not a punishment.
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A student of mine took their life last month because his faith-filled family refused to accept mental illness. While I do believe we find a peace unfathomable in Christ, perseverating on scripture doesn’t heal an illness (I've tried). There is freedom in professional help.
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Option 1- We will find more mental health when religious leaders stop creating barriers to God’s blessing of counseling and medication.
Option 2- 👇🏻
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I honestly don’t know what to make of this. I know what Piper thinks of the health & wealth gospel, but this is a strange quote. This seeems like a very under-developed reflection on the complexities of mental health. Believing the best, but weird.
  · Twitter for iPad · en
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@desiringGod Wow! As a mental health professional ( and a Jesus follower), I think this is misleading and dangerous. I only wish it were that easy. Apparently you have not known anyone that struggled with mental illness or you would not make such statements.
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This reinforces the notion that Christians are idiots and fail to understand basic issues people face on the daily.

Having mental health issues is not a spiritual problem. It is not a moral failing.
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@desiringGod Maybe should have said "joy" or something else in place of "mental health." Y'all are one of my favorite ministries and preach the truth, but this tweet is misleading and also hurtful to those of us with mental health issues.
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This is not just wrong. It’s recklessly dangerous.
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@desiringGod Important reminder that there are those in the church (like myself) who struggle with issues such as anxiety and depression and who still love Jesus and live to glorify him, standing in awe. The “women can’t teach seminary” thing was annoying — this is DANGEROUS.
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@desiringGod We will find healing from cancer, infertility, and broken bones when we ... oh, wait, that’s wrong too.
  · Twitter for iPad · en
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I teach a master’s level course on college student mental health. Let me be clear: this tweet is not helpful.
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How is this not the prosperity gospel?
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Would you tell an asthmatic, "You'll find the ability to breathe when you stop staring in the mirror and fix your eyes on God?" What about someone with a brain tumor? Mental illness is not a moral or spiritual failure! Please, educate yourselves.
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I will say after many decades of “fixing my eyes on God,” modern medicine is doing what God never managed to pull off. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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This makes me sad. For now. But it’s going to stew overnight. It’ll stew long enough to work up a good angry rant. For either the classroom or Twitter. Or both.
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This is a bad, bad tweet. Anxiety doesn’t disappear if you just pray enough. Depression isn’t because you “don’t have enough faith.” The misguided notion that mental health issues are somehow tied to our relationship with God is incredibly harmful.
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I know many love the Desiring God website, but I plead with you to look closely at what you’re reading. Here’s an example of a very dangerous belief system—negating the reality of mental illness. This tweet is part of a disturbing trend lately. Let’s use discernment!
  · TweetDeck · en
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If this kind of thinking, especially coming from the church, has hurt you one too many times, follow @russramsey @AliaJoyH @TheAlanNoble @ShannonDingle
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@desiringGod Name it claim it for your brain.
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Dianna E. Anderson 🏳️‍🌈
What’s more is that I know for a FACT you have people in Bethlehem Baptist’s congregation who on medication for mental illness that helps them function in every day life. What you are saying here is wrong.
  · TweetDeck · en
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Dianna E. Anderson 🏳️‍🌈
This is dangerous theology. I tried for YEARS to control my anxiety by focusing on God and asking God to heal me. It got to the point where I could not leave the house without an attack.

Turns out, I had a chemical imbalance only correctable by medication.
  · TweetDeck · en
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For too long, I thought my crippling anxiety was linked to my lack of faith or lack of obedience- as if I could just pray the anxiety away. No where in this article does it encourage mental health resources like counseling or medication. It kinda encourages the opposite. Sigh...
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Nope. YOU ARENT SICK BECAUSE OF YOUR LACK OF FAITH. You can love Jesus with every ounce of your spirit & be the most selfless human on the planet and still be sick. Medicine & therapy are beautiful. It’s okay to use them. Even Christians. Bye
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The good folks at @desiringGod have run into the buzzsaw of tolerance by accidentally blaspheming the cult of therapy. Yes, there are true medical conditions that need treatment, but many hate Christ & His way of peace & healing & demand their false therapeutic gods be venerated.
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@desiringGod 😐 gotta word this better. This is why the church holds the same stigma about mental health like most people in the world do
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@desiringGod God can absolutely change lives. But He also gives wisdom to counselors and psychologists, as well as providing medication for people who need it. As a ministry, you have sadly continued to stigmatize mental illness with this tweet. 😞
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There are a LOT of things they could’ve typed instead of “mental health” that would’ve made this true. But instead…
  · Twitter for Mac · en
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I wrote my book partly because this is the kind of thing I've been told by the church while battling bipolar disorder. Without clarification or context this is abusive and harmful.
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I don't wanna always be ripping DG, but this breaks my heart. Therapy, self-acceptance, and, if appropriate, medication are often waaayyyy more crucial to basic mental health than spiritual focus, and it's really important to me that Christians know that.
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not really sure what this is trying to get at? we can still have mental health issues even when our eyes are on God?
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This tweet is irresponsible and dangerous as well as a horrific and insensitive (even if accurate) representation of Christianity and its treatment of mental health.
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Thanks I’m cured! Real talk though this mentality is incredibly damaging and kept me from finding health and healing for way too long
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@desiringGod Ummm I fixed my eyes on god for 35+ years and that still didn’t stop me from downing a bottle of pills because of anxiety and depression. This rhetoric is dangerous and only pushes guilt on already struggling people. #bloodonyourhands
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I would suggest we'd be more likely to "find mental health" if we get help from mental health professionals. Also, *not* listening to John Piper and "Desiring God" couldn't hurt.
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@desiringGod These are the types of dangerous statements that the church has been making for decades. It’s a statement with no compassion or knowledge of basic psychology. Medication and counseling is not the enemy of faith.
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