Over the years, one thing I’ve been guilty of doing, tempted to do and seen others do, is use mental illness as an excuse to hurt others. I don’t like that I have done this. And when I bouncrb8Rh45458811sed my behavior off God’s word, I don’t think God does either. In the bible, Paul wrote, “I was given a thorn in my flesh…” (2 Corinthians 12) From this chapter, I learned that Paul was tormented–like some of us are mentally tormented. However, what I learn from the subtext, is that Paul says HE has a thorn: he owns it, accepts it, and gives it to God. What Paul does not imply is that his “thorn” is mine, yours, ours. It’s HIS.  Sometimes, I’ve been tempted to say, “But I can’t help it. It’s just the way my mind is.” Almost like I’m allowed to be mean or unloving. But that doesn’t line up with God’s word. The bible says that we take our thoughts captive. The bible says that we are to be transformed by the reNEWing of our minds. That means, a malign thought-life is not my excuse, if Jesus is my Savior. And if that doesn’t make a convincing case, the bible also says the greatest commandment is to love your neighbors…and your enemies. Love is not using our weakness to hurt others with it. By now, I hope you know that I know the mental struggle is real. But I also hope this honesty encourages someone to accept their thorn, but not use it as an excuse to hurt others with it.

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