Are You Spiritually Bi-Polar? (Part 1)
“Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Today in our land we have been plagued now more than ever with extreme and utter bondage to sin. One can look in any direction and observe glimpses of sinfulness. Gone are the days of righteous people blushing because of lewd and inappropriate actions and behaviors. Instead we respond to these actions and behaviors just as if we would a fly or an insect bothering us. We flip the switch, to our spirituality, just as we would a light switch at bedtime. When it’s convenient for us to be Godly, we turn on the Christian power, but when we want to indulge in our secret sins we secretly flip the switch. In so doing, we maintain an image of Godliness all the while remaining powerless. This behavior is not new! We see this type of behavior in those that suffer from mental and emotional disorders. We call these disorders Bi-Polarity! Bi-Polar sufferers can enjoy cosmic highs and almost instantly endure sub sea-level lows. Additionally, there are many other things that they go through that causes them to endure radical changes in short periods of time in their lives, which could days, hours or even minutes. Join us today as we explore this behavior and ask all Christians “Are You Spiritually Bi-Polar?”
I am not a medical doctor, nor an I a Licensed Social Worker with an advanced degree in Psychiatry. This devotional is NOT intended to provide a medical diagnosis or a clinical evaluation. This devotional is a private analysis from a spiritual point of view. In now way shape form or fashion am I seeking to evaluate, diagnose, predict psychiatric emergencies or suggest that one discontinues prescribed medication. This devotional is a spiritual analysis and intended to be consumed in a spiritual method.
Before we begin this devotional, we need to define what the condition of bi-polarity means so that we all are on common ground.
Bi = a combining form meaning “twice” or “two” or meaning more than one.
Polar = opposite in character or action. Could also mean that one thing repels another.
So we can deduce from this definition that more than one pole (behavior or emotion) has the ability to repel one another. Not a medical definition but a crude breakdown of the word. So what does this mean medically?
The classic symptoms of bipolar disorder are the periodic changes in mood, alternating between periods of elevated mood (mania or hypomania) and periods of depression. If you are living with bipolar disorder, you may feel energetic, abnormally happy, and make reckless decisions during manic states. During depressive states, you may feel the overwhelming urge to cry, experience feelings of hopelessness, and have a negative outlook on life. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania, where you generally feel pretty good – with a better sense of well-being and productivity.
With bipolar disorder, you don’t just feel “down in the dumps;” your depressive state may lead to suicidal thoughts that change over to feelings of euphoria and endless energy. These extreme mood swings can occur more frequently – such as every week – or show up more sporadically – maybe just twice a year. There is also no defined pattern to the mood swings. One does not always occur before the other – and the length of time you are in one state or the other varies as well. The good news is that there are a number of treatments that can keep your moods in check – allowing you to live a productive life.
This is an article except by Arnold Lieber, MD, in which he outlines a few things about this condition medically. So what does this mean and how does it tie into our scripture today? There are five big take aways from this information that we will cover this week:
- Mania & Manic Behavior
- Depressive Behavior
- Living With Bi-Polarity
- Diagnosing Bi-Polarity
- Treating Bi-Polarity
This week we will cover this topic in a spiritual eye and hopefully give you tools to over come Spiritual Bi-Polarity.
I. MANIA & MANIC BEHAVIOR
Mania is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or “a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together with lability of affect.” Although mania is often conceived as a “mirror image” to depression, the heightened mood can be either euphoric or irritable; indeed, as the mania intensifies, irritability may become more pronounced and eventuate in violence. Mania often involves sleeplessness, sometimes for days, along with hallucinations, psychosis, grandiose delusions, or paranoid rage. In addition, depressive episodes can be more devastating and harder to treat than in people who never have manias or hypomania. So basically there is a condition where people are super sensitive emotionally for reasons unknown.
Spiritually, for reasons unknown, many Christians experience radical changes during the day. They may start the day spending time with God and leave the house with all of the pieces of their spiritual armor. However, something may trigger them to emotionally “check-out” and remove their armor to be vulnerable to satanic attacks. During this venerable state, what we can call mania, Christians experience this energy and arousal to become independent and apart from the mainstream behavior. They begin to behave in a social unacceptable way, which is contrary to the word of God. We read how we should act:
“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.”
This spiritual mania can come upon any Christian at anytime. This is why the bible warns us in 1 Thessalonians 5:6 “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” When we let our guard down and relax we will begin to see signs of Mania. A regular check up with the great physician will allow us to notice these changes in behavior before they become problems. In tomorrow’s devotional we will discuss how mania causes depressive behavior and how we can overcome it. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.