Sanctification & Mental Illness by David Lee Chu Sarchet
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this manner, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you” -1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
When I was younger in my faith, this passage of scripture used to bother me. It bothered me because I was not sexually pure. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that there is a high amount of sexual promiscuity amongst the mentally ill population. It makes sense because we do tend to be very impulsive and we do frequently engage in high risk behaviors such as overspending and having sex with multiple partners.
I also believe that there is a link between homosexuality and mental illness.
In my very own life, I may not have experienced homosexual acts, but I have struggled with bisexual attractions and at one time I even believed that I may be transgender . I do not believe that homosexuality is a mental illness, but I do believe that mental illness can lead one to commit homosexual acts.
John Nash Example
A famous example of this is the life of John Nash, a genius mathematician who struggled with Schizophrenia. The movie A Beautiful Mind does not portray this, but the book by the same title records that John engaged in a number of sexual affairs, even having a child out of wedlock, and he also engaged in homosexual sex too!
Now, I do not think that if someone has a mental illness then that automatically removes their guilt if they engage in homosexuality or even just plain sexual immorality. Sin is sin and it is all egregious before the Holy God. However, I know from experience how difficult it is to remain sexually pure while dealing with a clinical mental illness.
The Lord Uses Medication In Our Lives
When someone is in a manic episode, they are not thinking about what they are doing. We are just in a sense acting on impulse. I do believe that the Lord can give us the strength to not act on impulse, however, the way He does this for someone with mental illness is by providing us with medication that helps us remain calm.
The Lord uses medication in our lives as part of the sanctification process because without the medication we would be without hope for being able to manage our mania.
Does this mean that we will live the perfect life according to God’s law if we remain on our medication? Absolutely not! We still struggle with our sin nature but when we do fall into sexual sin, there is hope for us found only in the Gospel. As 1 John 1:9 tells us,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus Christ Is Our Covenant Mediator
Jesus Christ is our Covenant Mediator and in Him we have His righteousness on us. That means that even when we sin, the Lord sees us as though we have never sinned.
This is marvelous news and we should praise God for His glorious grace. So, while you are dealing with your mental illness symptoms just know that the Lord is doing a great work in you. The work of sanctification is a process and we will not achieve perfection until the day Christ returns. Stay on your medications and trust the Lord to bring your salvation into completion. It is all His work to His glory alone!
Soli Deo Gloria!
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
For 24 hour peer support, please call the Christ-Centered Mental Health ministry line at 567-343-3727 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lydia Sarchet: email@example.com
- Britton Garleb: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joe Roman: Twiztedmembrain@gmail.com
- Mike Wagner: J.M.Painting6@gmail.com
- Scott AKA Johnny Kangaroo: email@example.com
- Dwayne McLeod: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Veronica Talbot: email@example.com
- Amber Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chuck Ward: email@example.com
- Sarah Olivia: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amber Marie: email@example.com
- Zachary Uram: Netrek@gmail.com