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I'm in a group on Facebook that talks about all things mental health. One of the things I noticed, as with any group of people, there are certain topics that are generally either tread lightly topics or off-limits topics. Two of the most recent topics to cause a rift within the group have been sexuality in itself and religion in itself, not together as a whole. 

The issue I noticed was the all or nothing mentality. It was suggested very harshly in the group to someone thinking about checking themselves into a mental facility that they, as I like to say, "pray it away". My observation was that this individual was being harmful in their approach as well as their deliverance of the advice. It was assumed that this young lady was a Christian when nothing was said to suggest it. It bothered me and I spoke up about it, in turn, the individual said that I was denying God by what I was saying. I am not flexible in my belief in God but I am fluid in my approach to non-believers. One of the most damaging things that we have seen in the black community aside from completely denying that mental health is a thing, is the pray it away type of person.

Although there are many articles and books on mental health there are no set rules for how people handle their mental health issues. Some pray to the universe, which I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that means for them, and some pray to God, and some even pray to Satan. I don't believe in all of those avenues of prayer, I am traditional in the sense that God is the only way to heaven and that His son Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I can, however, respect others for the way they handle mental health. For some Christians that is just not so.

As Christians, we face so many obstacles, and for a black woman; a black person, in general, has often been told growing up not to tell people our business and that if they wanted something like depression to go away all we had to do was pray for God to take it away and it would be gone. This damages our community because there are those of us, like myself, who believe that Faith and medicine can co-exist and should not be dismissed flippantly by any Christian male or female. This, as well as a lot of other things,  have caused people to deny Christianity as a whole. It saddens my soul when I see someone say that they were raised Christian and no longer believe because of the way it was forced upon them. I won't even get into the whole Christianity is not for black people topic.

I could go on and on with this topic, as you can tell, but I have some points I want to leave you with...

1. Christianity is not a cure-all. God sends people and even doctors in our lives to prolong our lives. He sends avenues to help us through this journey called life.
2. Christianity is not something we can force on other people just because we strongly believe in it ourselves. You can always pray for the individual to come to Jesus but you cannot, I repeat, cannot force them you can only lead them to the right path, it's up to them to drink from the well. 
3. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Are we really doing that if we turn our noses up at everything different about them? We don't have to condone their sexuality or religious standpoint but we can accept the person for who they are. It's up to God to decide whether or not they are destined for heaven or hell. 

Those are all the things I leave you with today. I hope that this has touched somebody in some sort of way or given someone an understanding. Until next time. Have a good day. 


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