Five Stages On the Journey to Mental Fitness
A Guide to Addressing Mental Health in Christian Circles – Part 2
Stunting one’s growth physically means that a person’s growth and development is impaired. Jim Rohn uses this analogy, how tall will a tree grow? It grows as tall as it can. The part of this statement that I wish to focus on is “as tall as it can.” In fact growth occurs to the point in which growth is impaired. A tree in this case, grows until it runs out of room or resources (like water and sunlight) which impairs its growth. As it relates to mental fitness, how tall will you grow? And if your mental growth has stopped, what’s impairing your growth?
As it goes with the mind, so goes it with your body, your life, and your world. A famous Proverb says it this way, “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”  I like to say it from another angle. What you are, who you are is a reflection of what is in your heart. If you don’t have much going into your heart, then your life, your body, your world won’t be much. In other words, your life will be stunted. You can only be what’s on the inside. Even science bears this out. You are what you eat (physically). You are what you think (mentally).
If you are what you think, that means the average person has poor thinking. No one wants to be average. Therefore we must get our hands on some uncommon information that will produce some uncommon thinking. The best source of such is God’s word. Ancient scripture attests that at the beginning of everything, words were the power source or force in creating the Heavens and Earth as we know it.  We have conformed to a world that has reduced its daily consumption of God’s word. If the word of God produces life  (and it does) and we are not getting a good dose of His word, that means we are not getting much “life” either. Could it be that we are living “lifeless” lives because we are deficient in His word?
As a result we are in bad mental health. There are very few objections to this. We are seeing mental health decline all around us. What we are seeing are two mental outcomes that are produced by poor mental health: life and death.  Just so that you know, the default outcome is death. Death in this regard simply means decay or degradation. The question is how do we get out of this declining mental health? As it goes with your physical health, when one is overweight, it takes more effort to lose the weight that was gained. In the same way, it takes more effort to become mentally healthy. Allow me to explain why, using these five steps to change how we think, the words we speak, and what we become.
Farming Your Way to Better Mental Health
- Create a habit of planting “mental” seeds.
Words are seeds that get planted. 
God’s word must be planted into the heart of your mind like seeds planted in a field.  The Bible contains seeds that can grow in your mind, but these seeds must be first planted. If you don’t plant them, they can not, will not grow. In fact, the main reason you should read and study your Bible is to find the seeds you’d like to see planted in your life to produce the results you wish to see.
- Get over the “mental” seeds that get taken from you.
Some hear and then forces come and take it away. 
Some of the seeds get taken away. Like seeds that are planted, the birds come and take them away, so do the words you plant. The devil comes and takes someway.  This is not to keep you from planting the word, it is so you know the facts of what happens to seeds.
- Don’t get distracted by the “mental” seed that doesn’t take root.
Some have rocky soil, they hear without having deep roots and it falls away. 
Some of the seeds only produce shallow roots and fall away.  In your planting of God’s word, know that not all the seeds will be taken away, but some of those words will take root. However, the roots might be shallow and the words will fall away. This is the process of planting. Remember, it takes more effort to gain better health when one’s health has been compromised.
- Don’t let the thoughts that get choked out frustrate you.
Some have thorns that quickly take it away. 
Some of the seeds will be choked out by thorns. God’s word for you can be choked out (hindered) by our worries. Let me say it another way, our worries and anxiety are choking out our ability to have God’s word produce results in our life. It is like the thorns found amongst crops that are planted. You will have thorns show up, but every farmer knows this.
- Push forward through to the “mental” seeds that produce a harvest.
Some fall on good ground and it produces. 
Some of the seeds fall on good ground and produce the results intended.  This is the good part. The goal of planting seeds is so that the seeds fall on good ground and produce a crop. No matter what, when you plant seeds some will fall on good ground and produce.
While it may seem unfair when your seeds (God’s word) get taken away, produce shallow roots, and get choked out by thorns, this is how it works. However no matter what, some of the seeds will fall on good ground and produce a worthwhile harvest. This is why farmers plant. However, if you don’t plant any seeds, there is one guarantee. You will not have seeds that make their way to good ground and produce results in your life. In order to take our mental health to the next level, we must get comfortable with planting the seeds of God’s word in our mind’s heart.
Question: In what ways can you begin planting God’s word in the field of your heart?
 Proverbs 23:7 KJV, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/1/PRO.23.7.KJV
 John 1:1-2 KJV, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/1/JHN.1.1-2.KJV
 John 6:63 NKJV, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/114/JHN.6.63.NKJV
 Proverbs 18:21 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PRO.18.21.NLT
 Luke 8:11 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.8.11.NLT
 Luke 8:12 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.8.12.NLT
 Luke 8:13 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.8.13.NLT
 Luke 8:14 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.8.14.NLT
 Luke 8:15 NLT, Bible.com, accessed September 5, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.8.15.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.