No, I'm not delusional, nor do I suffer from depression or panic attacks. But the absence of such "mental illnesses" doesn't signal that I'm mentally fit any more than the absence of cancer means I'm physically fit.
Mentally fit people manage their thoughts and emotions appropriately so that they can fulfill life's responsibilities and handle life's challenges successfully and joyfully. I always thought I did a good job of "managing thoughts and emotions". But now that I'm paying closer attention to it, I realize that there are times when I do a poor job of it. Like...
- when I'm tired
- when I don't feel like I'm getting much done
- when I've had an tense or unpleasant interaction with someone
- when things aren't working out like I want them to
I'm grateful for what closer attention to my "mental fitness" is teaching me. As I practice the disciplines that bring better mental fitness, I trust that I will improve at these critical times. I think it is appropriate to take this issue seriously, especially given these life-giving admonitions we find in Scripture:
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:4,5 NIV)
"Above all else, guard your heart (where your thoughts and emotions come from), for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
How mentally fit would you say you are?