8/11 The Roots of Emotional Illness that Influence Total Wholeness

One of the important topics we need to discuss is the influence of our Emotions on our Body.  I am sure you will agree with me that learning to handle our emotions in a healthy way has a positive benefit for our physical health.  So how can we do this?

1.  God created us to be complex creatures

We are eternal spirits, using a soul and living in a physical body.  All our parts are designed to work together, influencing each other and inter-related in function.

2.  Three groups of mental and emotional illnesses

a.  Genetic and Biological causes – inherited defects, chemical or hormonal imbalances and the results of physical abuses, such as drugs or alcohol.

b.  Environmental causes – childhood abuse and trauma, family of origin dysfunctions, faulty social skills, poor coping methods, poor role models, and so on.

c.  Spiritual – Generational curses, occult or witchcraft involvement, wilful rebellion, disrespect of parents, rejection of authority and so on.

3.  Faulty Coping methods bring dysfunction

a.  Faulty coping methods lie at the heart of all the non-organic, genetically inherited mental and emotional illnesses.  In fact, faulty coping methods are at the roots of all dysfunctions and all problems and issues we face.   Our problem exists because we cope with our problems in faulty, ungodly ways.

b.  If a person moves through a series of unresolved conflicts without healthy, mature coping skills, faulty personality issues develop.  We develop faulty strategies to protect our own sense of helplessness and fragility.

c.  As we continue with these coping methods, we develop self-protection and self-gratification thinking patterns.  This is what produces dys-functional behaviours.  By continuing to practice these paths of faulty thinking and unhealthy defence mechanisms, we block healthy emotional release and so further pain develops.

d.  Emotional illness is but one of the results of what we do, one of the end products of the way we choose to live.  Handling emotions God’s way develops a true wholeness.

e.  An example of this is when a person has a broken leg, they would need a crutch.  Coping methods allow us to step aside from the pain of the real problem – for awhile.  The problem develops id we do not lay aside the crutch when healing happens.  Relying on faulty coping methods helps us avoid the pain but if we will not lay aside the coping method for healing to happen, we remain dysfunctional. 

We have been taught ‘crutch ways’ by our parents, society and other significant others around us as children.  Becoming adult means laying aside these crutches and taking up our own responsibility for healing. Ephesians 2:1 from The Message puts it very well: “It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin and corruption.  You let the world – which doesn’t know the first thing about living – tell you how to live.  You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief and then exhaled disobedience.  We all did, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it –  all of us in the same boat.”

4.  Jesus believed in our ability to make choices

Jesus’ model of psychology emphasises our ability to change, by taking in God’s principles and acting on His directions.  He believed that people were capable of making choices and that we have the power to change.  Again this is a different frame of reference to the world.

We need a re-education of the inward heart attitudes before the outward can change.  Like the precious child that we are, we must learn we cannot do it alone.  Jesus knew the roots of dysfunction are in living outside Creator God’s principles. 

We become neurotic and psychotic whenever we live outside our God-given design.  Much of emotional and mental disease is caused by the faulty or ‘mal-adaptive’ ways we have learned to handle our thinking and our emotions.  We gain health by returning to Creator God’s patterns for us.


Faulty emotions are signs of deeper problems; not necessary sin, but they can lead to sin.  If our mental and emotional structure does not have a strong foundation to withstand the strain of modern civilisation, illness will develop.  God wants us to be emotionally mature, adequately equipped, able to adjust and profit from life’s traumas, and having good health.

Accepting God’s design of human nature is the sure foundation that we are not building on ‘the sand’ knowing and choosing God’s principles can correct mental and emotional problems. An inner orderliness brings harmony.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author




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