The title of this blog post comes from a popular meme/quote comparing Jesus with other solutions for mental health issues.
The full context is here:
I’d like the opportunity to unpack this quote by asking a series of questions.
#1. Has anyone ever claimed that loving Jesus always cures mood disorders?
When someone makes a statement or sets up a premise, it’s wise to watch out for arguments no one is actually making. If I’m spending time telling you something completely uncontroversial–it may be that I’m busily building a straw man…
Unless Real Life humans are suggesting that Loving Jesus always cures mental health issues, why even bring it up?
I would submit to you, the first four lines of this quote are there merely to set up a soft target and encourage agreement with the rest of it.
Yes–Loving Jesus won’t necessarily fix everything.
Yes–Loving Jesus doesn’t cure all my ailments.
“YEEEEEES! I need to share this with all my Jesus-Loving friends…even though everyone on the planet already agrees.”
#2. Will I Cure my Mental Illnes by Seeing a Therapist or Taking Medicine?
The obvious answer is “NO.”
Seeking therapy and taking drugs won’t cure your depression, anxiety, or PTSD any better than “loving Jesus” does.
#4. Why Didn’t the Author Mention that Therapy/Medication Aren’t “Cures,” Either?
Hmm. Good question.
#4. Does This Quote Hold Jesus to a Different Standard than Psychiatrists?
YEP, absolutely. By starting out talking about “cures,” the meme sets up a challenge–but it never criticizes the pharmaceutical companies for having the exact same problem.
This quote is meant to be pro-Medicine and to show support for those who seek help from mental health experts. But, it’s not being CONSISTENT when it brings up Jesus’ results and fails to compare them with the results of the Mental Health Machine…
A fair/consistent/balanced quote would admit:
TAKING MEDICINE DOESN’T CURE MY SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.
SEEING A THERAPIST DOESN’T CURE MY PTSD.
SHARING MEMES THAT TELL PEOPLE THEY’RE LOVED DOESN’T CURE THEIR ANXIETY.
Can we be honest about that?
It’s disheartening to me when statements go viral because they SOUND encouraging rather than because they offer good, balanced, helpful advice.
We love being told to “do whatever we need to do” because it’s non-confrontational and positive. On the other hand, we hate the uncomfortable process of asking questions and unpacking ideas, as I’ve done in this blog.
When I share a quote telling friends “do whatever you need,” it’s (sadly) more about getting points for sounding supportive than actually helping a suffering person handle a serious issue.
Furthermore (and even more sadly), it will always be easier to talk about the shortcomings or failures of the Christian Religion than to be equally honest about the shortcomings of the Mental Health religion.
Here’s a quote that is just as true, but not as shareable, as the meme at the top of this post:
You can believe in science and still recognize when the mental health machine is broken.
You can be pro-medicine and still admit you need Jesus more than ANYTHING else.
You are more than a body full of unbalanced chemicals.
Your soul matters to Jesus.
It’s true that Jesus doesn’t always cure depression…
But supportive-sounding quotes on social media don’t cure anything, ever.