Psychologists define psychological health as good adaptation within
a person and between
him and his society. It means that he reaches some kind of social and
psychological balance. In fact, this state of social and psychological adaptation and balance
is preeminently possible in Christian life because of divine support for
man in his daily struggle, whether at the individual or societal level.
What are the indicators of psychological health identified by the
psychologists? What is the role of Christianity in attaining these
indicators and achieving psychological health.
The Indicators of Psychological Health :
1- Happiness :
This is the first indicator of emotional health when man is free
of sadness, conflict, and a feeling
of failure. This is certainly possible in our life in Christ
because most of mans troubles result from personal failure in
overcoming sin, habits, harmful tendencies, or from the failure to
achieve self-fulfillment and personal objectives, such as
spiritual, psychological, educational, professional, or social success.
There is no doubt that our life in Christ is the means of our private
and public success, whether psychological or social because in Christ,
we can do all things. This means that when the Lord of glory enters
our live, hearts, minds, wills, and aspirations, He gives us victory,
we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:37).
The wonderful light of Christ, His infinite love, His heavenly grace,
and His Holy Spirit when added to our great human weakness are the
secret of full success in all aspects of life. The God of heaven
Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build
(Neh. 2:20). that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just
as your soul prospers (3Jn. 1:2).
Thus man is enabled to conquer the multifarious daily hindrances whether
from inside or outside himself, and to achieve adaptation,
balance, and happiness. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say,
rejoice! (Phil. 4:4) The Lord is our temporal and eternal treasure who
grants us prosperity, contentment, and happiness. Then we will be rich
in good works (1Tim. 6;18).
2- Balance :
The path of moderation has saved many we are taught by our fathers;
do not be too righteous the wise man said. Achieving a balance is a
basic factor in mental health for the psyche is free of extremes,
exaggeration, fanaticism and intolerance on the one hand, and also free
from heedlessness and passiveness on the other.
A mentally healthy person is a well-balanced person. He is neither
totally self-reliant (without Christ), nor does he feel desperate and a
failure. He is self-confident in Christ and because of Christ who works
He is neither overly ambitious nor lazy and aimless, for God grants him
the ability to use his talents. Under good spiritual guidance, man
himself can weigh all his needs and his characteristics. He makes sure
he is spiritually nourished through prayer and mentally satisfied
through culture and is self-controlled. He takes care of his body
through nutrition, recreation, sports, and rest, and of his
relationships through social success.
3- Self-acceptance :
This does not mean being boastful or accepting sin, but it means being
content with what the Lord has given one in the way of gifts, talents,
or appearance. It also means accepting even of those unfavorable traits
and weaknesses, even physical or psychological handicaps and a certain
level of intelli-gence He has allowed us to have.
The purpose of the Christian is not self-aggrandizement but consecration
to Christ. That is why he accepts himself the way he is and presents it
to Christ to sanctify, use, develop, and grow. He is not divided against
himself, nor does he despise himself and reject the weaknesses God has
seen fit to allow him. He converts these into humility, prayer and
fellowship so that God may be glorified in our weakness. For when I am
weak, then I am strong (2Cor. 12:10). Let the lowly brother
glory in his exaltation (Js. 1:9). yet not I, but the grace of God
that is with me (1Cor. 15:10).
4- Accepting others :
To the pure, all things are pure (Tit. 1:15). This is an important
Biblical tenet. When Christ baptizes our human perception, we see that
everything around us is pure and beautiful. Such a person is sound, but
the sick individual only sees the negative aspects of people, their
weak-nesses and vices, rather than their virtues and gifts. It is a
defense mech-anism known as belittling in which he does not cease from
judging others in order to divert attention from his own secret defects
The Christian, however, is called upon to accept others with love and to
take note of their favorable chara-cteristics and gifts. He is required
to deal with others as beings who are created in the image of God. He
does not wait for the other to be good or cooperative, but loves him as
he is just like Christ loves us. He takes him as he is, not as he would
like him to be.
The Christians heart is open to all without in any way foregoing the
essence of his religion or his sound principles.
5- Social Competence :
One of the characteristics of a successful personality is social
competence. This entails the ability to have good relation-ships with
others in the family, on the street, in school, in church, and in
society. He is able, with the grace of Christ, to interact well with
all. He is a gently diffuse light, salt that dissolves in love,
and a pleasing and reviving fragrance of amazing spontaneity. He is a
letter written on the heart, read and known by all, and not only by
Christianity is opposed to isolation and detachment. It can make of its
children individuals who are open to society, who love and are loved,
who are strong and flexible, firm without intolerance, and loving
without abandoning principles.
6- Realistic Goals :
A healthy individual does not insist on having unrealistic and
unattainable goals. He is aware of reality and does not immerse himself
in daydreams of impossible ambitions.
Christianity certainly encourages us in this when it requires us to be
contented. Be contented with what you have. For I say, through the
grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself
more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has
dealt to each one a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3). But godliness with
contentment is great gain (1Tim. 6:6).
Contentment is not against developing and improving human intellectual,
educational, practical, and material capabilities as long as they all
glorify God. The purpose is not to inflate the ego or to worship dust
The Christian attempts to improve his life and to use this world as not
misusing it (1Cor. 7:31). He develops his various potentialities always
aiming for improvement, not out of selfish ambition but in order to use
his talents for the glory of Christ and to enjoy a happy life in the
7- Existential Independence :
That means that a person is not emotionally dependent on anyone who
enslaves his heart, monopolizes his feelings, and makes it impossible
for him to deal with others. Normal human emotions that are not
subjected to reason are soon converted into bonds and enslavement, into
hateful egoism, and maybe even into sins. Emotions that are controlled
by reason and sanctified by the Spirit are characterized by:
+ Growing and spreading to include all.
+ Not being enslaved by anyone or anything.
+ Not fickle but stable.
+ Enlightened so that a person is not lost.
+ Purity and cleanliness because of the work of the Spirit within.
8- Intellectual Independence :
This means a person is a slave to no one or to no specific school of
thought. He has a mind that is open to all people and schools and has
spiritual and intellectual discernment because of two reasons:
+ The Spirit of God dwells within him, guiding him to all truth.
+ The word of God is instilled in him, a lamp to light his path.
That is why the psychologically healthy individual does not close his
mind to anyone or reject the ideas of others without discussion or
examina-tion. He does not reject the opinions of others without giving
them the chance to explain and propound them.
Intellectual intolerance is evidence of immaturity. However, this does
not mean that a persons mind should be like an open road or an unfenced
garden. Intellectual passivity is also a scourge. A person who is
enlightened by the Spirit and the word is able to discriminate between
the fat and the lean. He does not close his mind, nor does he lack
discrimination. He engages in discussions and interacts with others in
order to reach the truth through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
May God grant that our spirits may be healthy throughout our lives to
the glory of His Name and our personal happiness as well as the
happiness of others.