A MIND THAT WANTS TO CHECK OUT

gadarene

We’ve all witnessed older people, maybe in their 90’s, who “check out” of life. They’ve lived vital, energetic lives and now they are ready to move on. Their minds begin to deteriorate. You probably have noticed that people are starting to “check out” at a much younger age. This has got to stop.

 

I understand that life becomes hard. We don’t want to deal with all the deadlines, the responsibilities put on us, the lack of fair treatment or fair pay for what we do; We are tired of dealing with crazy people, delays, things going wrong. We want other people to deal with these complicated things for us and we would just like to float a little on someone else’s energy. THIS IS A DANGEROUS THOUGHT AND A SLIPPERY PATH!

 

I see and know of people who have done this very thing and now they have a hard time remembering the smallest things. They have difficulty finishing a sentence. They have a great idea but can’t seem to execute it.

 

Once a person starts down this path of disengaging, the mind gets lazy and thinks it’s justified. Soon it doesn’t even realize what’s going on and it’s only circling on itself, even obsessing on the same things over and over and basically going nowhere.

 

The Lord wanted to show this to me in other people and my response was not only sadness, but also some frustration too. Then, it happened to me!

 

I had a difficult week with deadlines and way too many people with too many different ideas and it was confusing and a bit overwhelming. By the weekend I was exhausted. One of my best friends came over and she wanted to tell me the details about what was going on in her life; some of it involved me too. Part way through her excitement, I checked out.

 

I didn’t even realize it until about fifteen minutes later when I asked her about some portion of her story. I may have imagined it, but it seemed that she gave me this incredulous sideways look that said, “I just told you a few minutes ago! Weren’t you listening?” The answer, sadly enough, was, “Nope, I checked out!”

 

I had just done the very thing I was all grumbly about seeing in other people! I woke up to what the Lord had been trying to show me: “NO MORE CHECKING OUT!  I’ve shown you what happens to other people. Don’t let it happen to you.”

 

We can’t allow ourselves to get lazy-minded. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” But we have to guard it, claim it and make it obey what the Word of God says about it.

 

In the next chapter of Timothy, God tells us, “The servant of the Lord must be gentle unto all, apt to teach, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (vv. 24-26). These verses are not just talking about helping other people, but we are included in the “all.” We are part of the: “that they may recover [also translated “awake”] themselves out of the snare of the devil.”

 

It is a terrible snare of the devil, that he can get us to be slovenly with our minds. Yes, we may get tired physically, or worn down by the confusion and craziness of people and the world around us, but we have a loving Lord to help us recover ourselves, wake ourselves up and have our minds be clear, fit, vibrant and sound.

 

A great example is the man in the Gadarenes. The record is in Mark 5. Verse 2 says, “When he [Jesus] was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.” This man’s mind was unclean. It wasn’t sharp; it wasn’t clear. In fact, he fit into the category we just saw in 2 Timothy 2:24: He was among “those that oppose themselves,” so much so, that he literally cut himself:

 

“Night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself” (v. 5). The word “tombs” is translated from the Greek word that means, “a monument or memorial to perpetuate the memory of any person or thing.” Tombs usually hold the remains of someone who is dead.

 

The man of the Gadarenes was dwelling with things that were dead, things of the past that should have been dealt with and left dead. Instead, he was going back physically and mentally, obsessing over them, and in so much agony, he was mutilating himself. We have cutters today and many are young girls, obsessing over things that need to be dealt with according to God’s Word and left for dead.

 

The answer is always Jesus. Even these unclean, unsound demons that possessed the man of the tombs and kept him crazy, were no match for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus “said unto him, ‘Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit’” (v.8). And the people “came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind” (v. 15). Here we see that this man’s mind was restored, it was “his” right mind.

 

In other words, as nuts as he was, his mind wasn’t beyond the point of restoration. He once had a sharp, clear, vibrant and sound mind and when Jesus’s words were spoken to him, and he believed them, he got back his right mind! He had a right to own his own mind. And we do to!

 

And what did the man do? He followed Jesus and told others about how he was delivered and healed.

 

So if we are determined to keep our wits about us till our last day here on earth, then we always need to look to the Lord and follow Him. We don’t have to be afraid of anything. God will never give us anything we can’t handle and we never have to think we need to mentally “check out.”

 

We stay strong-minded and clear-headed, no matter what goes on around us and we keep our eyes on Jesus who helped the crazy Gadarene man get his mind back. Instead of dwelling in the tombs, we dwell on the words of the one who made us: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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6 thoughts on “A MIND THAT WANTS TO CHECK OUT

  1. Carolyn, you may mean well but you are leaving out a lot of facts especially where mental illness is concerned. The brain can become ill because it is a part of the body just like the heart, skin, kidneys, etc…Do you really believe that sick people who have had strokes and are no longer themselves are possessed and act the way they do because they just did not think themselves healed?? And clinical depression is absolutely real through no fault of its host. Much like a tumor on the brain affects behavior so does a concussion, stroke, medications, etc….

    About the sick man who was cutting himself ….Jesus went to him because he did not have the presence of mind to ask for help. Jesus knew his needs. That is what I get out of that story in the Bible. I do not judge those who Jesus healed as all being possessed by some demon although those things do exist not all people who “lose their minds” are possessed. In fact, certain societies throughout history have actually burned people at the stake because they were not of sound mind and thought to be possessed by demons. They just had no other name for insanity or ways to examine the brain back then.

    While we may have periods of wanting to tune out of this awful, horrible, often nightmare of a life….those of us with sound minds are blessed to be able to turn to God. Thankfully, for those who cannot, God turns to them with His love, grace, and mercy. I know He did that for my son who died by suicide through no fault of his own. He was a Christian. He was not himself when that happened as many who die that way are not.

    • I totally agree with you. In a short blog there was no way I could possibly touch on the many different mental illnesses that occur. I was only addressing the very beginning of a decision a sound person makes about tuning out, and saying that it’s not a good path to take and can definitely lead to more and more tuning out if we don’t make the decision to stop doing it. I have witnessed it lately in many people I’ve known for a long time.

      I’ve done a couple articles on suicide and depression and I do think that these can be arrested, but I also realize that chemical imbalances can happen and that there are many causes for mental problems. And certainly not every mental problem is a demon, just like many sicknesses and diseases aren’t demons either. Like you said, the brain is a part of the body that can get attacked in the same way as any physical part of the body.

      I don’t judge any sick person or diseased person, or anyone who may be being attacked by a demon or even possessed by one or more. It’s not our place to judge, just help if we possibly can. Also, I’m not against meds or doctors – whatever can help a person so they are out of pain and are as much as possible able to freely receive the Word of God.

      Anyway, I hope that helps you to understand my heart on this article.

      And thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Thank you, Carolyn for understanding my position and approving my reply. I know you are a kind hearted sister in Christ. You are so right about how we can allow our minds go to dark places and that we do have to stop it as soon as we realize what’s happening. During the shock of losing my precious son, I had to say out loud scriptures in order not to think about it and to tell Satan to flee so that my mind would not imagine scenes of my son dying. It is a hell no one should experience.

        God bless you. I read your blog and always feel your kind spirit. I hope I didn’t come off as too brash and unkind. I’m just somewhat over sensitive on this particular subject.

  2. We all have those sensitive places and I really do try not be so dogmatic and “preachy” in my messages. I try to think of the bigger body of Christ and be compassionate. I know what I’ve experienced and I know what God’ mercy is like — Huge! have a great week!

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