Advice for a Christian’s mental stability

For a long time, I had no idea what mental stability meant. Mental stability was a foreign concept. I was too busy to think about my own mental health and too busy to think about Jesus and the miraculous work He had done in my life. 

By the time I figured out I needed to focus on it, I was deep within a pit. I found myself in the position of Jonah, that is, deep within the land of the dead, spiritually dead and clinging to whatever shred of “life” I could find. But I made the decision, like Jonah, to pray. 

Jonah 2:2 (KJV) says, “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” God heard my cry for help, lifted me out of the pit, shined his light of grace upon my life, and led me to the truth. I had tried to let women and what I thought was love save me, but it couldn’t. Getting my mind together took tremendous discipline, but it led me to begin to ask an important question: what does mental stability for a Christian look like? 

To answer this question, I will define mental stability for the Christian as the ability to defend the mind in such a way that the enemy can no longer use it as a playground, and it instead submits to and lives by the Spirit. Romans 8:5-7 (NIV) says, 

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 

This requires building borders and controlling what goes in and out of your mind. This requires discipline. 

Why is the mind important to begin with? The mind is a battlefield that the enemy tries to infiltrate all the time. He knows that whatever controls the mind controls everything else, which is why we must begin to orient our minds toward the Spirit and away from the enemy and his devices. How can we grow in defending our minds? 

  1. Positive and negative thoughts are essential to mental health and stability 
  2. What influences you allow (and don’t allow) in your mind can shape your mental development as a Christian
  3. A fortified mind leads to a holy mindset

Thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts

I’m drawn back to a night a couple of years ago, when I had been living in a one-bedroom apartment with my family and the power had been out for a couple of days. At one point, it got so hot that we needed to open up a window in the back, which let in what felt like a dozen mosquitos. The humidity of a Philadelphia summer night, the consistent needle prick of mosquito bites, and the dark was my existence. That night, my mind was at the mercy of the enemy. Why are you not here, God? What did I do? Do you even exist? 

That night taught me that the enemy will do his best to convince you that you are alone, that your prayers aren’t heard, and that the One you pray to won’t help you. As one who was not as steeped in the faith, I was devastated. I felt like I wasn’t going to make it another night. 

But in my anguish, God heard my cries and reminded me of all my blessings. In that moment amidst the humidity and the mosquitos and the darkness, I still had the humor of my family around me that made the dark thoughts go away, the joyful laughs that come with remembering an old joke I once heard, and the phrase my mom always says when things don’t go right: “Son, God got us.” And he did. 

When you are weak, negative thoughts enter the mind with ease. They tend to overshadow and dwarf positive thoughts even when the good far outweighs the bad. Strangely, they seem to appear more real to us. However, constantly renewing our positive thoughts is the best way to counter such thoughts, and it’s also biblical. 

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Thinking about these things brings to the forefront of your mind joy, peace, and, most importantly, God’s glory of God—what He has done and will do. 

I escaped the corruption the enemy was trying to bring into my mind by remembering the joys of life that I have experienced—my siblings, relationships, and God’s handiwork in my life—but I would be lying if I said the enemy didn’t have me in a grip. The power of positive thinking, remembering what God has already done and anticipating what he will do, got me through it. Afterward, I used positive thinking to help lay the foundations for the barricades I was ready to construct for my mind.

Influences around every corner

Whether we like to believe it or not, books, music, podcasts, shows, and other media forms can affect our mental development in Christ. All these things mentioned come with an agenda, something their creators want you to take away by the end. Sometimes that agenda can be a good thing meant to entertain you, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes they incite temptation, whether knowingly or unknowingly. In a world where the enemy has made unacceptable things acceptable, the Christian who is unable to consume solid food (more complex doctrine in the Christian faith) and still needs milk (elementary concepts that must be understood first) may be unable to distinguish the evil doctrines that pose as good and holy  (Hebrews 5:11-14). James 1:8 (NLT) says, “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” 

When I was younger, I believed in things like the horoscope and sage-burning because I saw others presenting them as good. “You’re like that because you’re a Pisces” I would hear, and “these Pisces men!” a family member would say. I became curious about what exactly that meant, so I began searching for answers. A Pisces man is described as “charming,” “imaginative,” “escapist,” “awkward,” and “oversensitive” and a host of other characteristics. I believed for a while that maybe this astrology thing was right about me.

But when I came to Christ, I began to think about what that really meant. Horoscopes overgeneralize and utilize a mix of character traits that people find admirable, appealing to their confirmation biases. “Wow, I’m known to be an escapist at points and a bit charming at others.” For some, it makes them  want to grow into these supposed personalities to justify specific actions and behaviors. In my experience, using horoscopes to determine personality traits and compatibility grossly simplifies the mosaic of human personalities gifted by God.

We must be wary of what influences us and how it affects our growth and mental development in Christ. Some things we consume can cause us to believe in things that are perfidious and not associated with God. These things catch our attention because they seemingly put into our hands a power only God has—that is, it hands us an illusion of control over our own lives. 

What should we be filling our heads with to combat these worldly ideas? The answer is simple: Scripture. Reading the Word of God will inform you and make you wise. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Reading our Bible gives us the information we need to combat the worldly influences that vie for our attention every day. Reinforcing the walls around your mind comes with reading and understanding Scripture and being around people who reiterate the transformative Word to you.


Sustainable mental fortitude leads to stability. When we are fortified mentally, we position our mindset to ripen into a holy mindset. Laying good foundations and building up our barricades is how we begin to fortify this mindset. A holy mindset is a virtuous and disciplined one that seeks Jesus and His goodness always and does not allow the tricks of the enemy to debase it. With this type of mindset, we can live our lives not focused on worldly things but always striving to fulfill the purpose God has given us.

The journey to developing this mindset for yourself can lead to a renewing of your mind, and we know that orienting more towards the Spirit is always a good thing, giving us life and peace (Romans 8:5-7). It brings us into alignment with what the Spirit desires for us and gives us strength to face the obstacles in our paths. With a mindset of holiness, we will be more disciplined in seeking God and fellowship and more stable against the chaos of evil. 

Developing my mindset of holiness has been an enriching experience because I can always be in conversation with God and meditate on the wisdom He has granted me through His Word. I feel so much healthier because my mind doesn’t have to be constantly grasping for something to keep it stable..When I am going through something, I don’t stay angry or frustrated, but I can remember the positive things, like the funny shows I watch on Netflix or the jokes my grandpa tells me. I don’t turn to tarot cards but to the Word of God to find solace and peace. Doing these things has led me to develop a holy mindset that keeps me mentally stable.

I hope the seeds of this message fall on good soil and you learn something from it.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
—Romans 15:13 NIV

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