For years, America has been in a Political Correctness argument on gun violence and gun control. Just in the first half of 2018 sixteen school shootings were recorded. But like someone said ‘This is Nigeria’, let’s bring a home report. According to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) suicidal ranking, Nigeria is the 30th most suicide prone nation (out of 183 nations) and 10th in Africa.

You may want to ask why but there are so many whys to deal with.

    Why the shootings, the suicides, the drug abuse and alcoholism? The simple explanation is that these behaviours can be the effect of traumatic experiences or life’s many pressures.

Mental health over the years has become a concern in western countries (gladly its awareness is on the rise in Nigeria) as mental disorder has been noted as the root cause of most behavioural disorders.

Humans are emotional beings and emotion is the dot that connects the human race. Emotion helps us feel, empathize and show compassion for one another. But like guns emotion can be a weapon of destruction, a ticking time bomb. The outcome of an unchecked or untamed emotion is a doodle effect, a mindless action and reaction. Emotion that is exposed to harshness can be destructive either on a personal or societal level. Like hard drugs, a heightened emotion clouds the thought process. It rouses the ‘I am a victim
feeling which can aid aggressive outbursts. As a psychology enthusiast I have always sought to understand people’s emotions and behavioural patterns. In my careful observation I can say that the control of human emotion is more spiritual than physical. The mind is an immaterial part of the human make up that controls intellect, reason and thought. The heart is the seat of emotion, desires, hopes and dreams. To reach these is to reach deeper than the superficial. All human behaviour originates from there. No wonder the Bible admonishes that the heart be guarded, for out of it flows the issues of life. The good book also tells us to renew our mind daily.

Matthew writes that: “from the heart come evil thoughts (desires), murder, adultery, sexual immorality e.t.c”.
The Bible explained that after the fall of Adam and Eve the heart of man began to experiencedegeneration (state of being rotten). The heart lost its capacity to stay pure and healthy. The
mind lost its ability to reason as God originally empowered it to. The heart and the mind are inseparable. They may have few distinct functions between them but they feed each other. The Bible sometimes even uses them interchangeably.

Thoughts fuel emotion and when emotion is in distress it puts the mind in chaos. It impedes on the mind’s ability to reflect or think thoroughly. This provokes thoughtless acts. A healthy heart is a healthy mind. Keep your thoughts in check and your emotions will comply.

The antidote to doodle emotion is the Holy Spirit. The flesh produces every kind of destructive behaviour while the Holy Spirit produces behaviours that counter the flesh. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, peace, joy, patience, meekness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control. Yes! Self Control, this is likened to being sober. My respect to psychologists, counsellors and for rehabilitation programs but the procedures in use here are only a fraction of the solution in the recovery of a troubled mind.

A mind controlled by the Holy Spirit will reason clearly and think positively. A heart filled with the word of God will bring about an emotionally balanced lifestyle. Life throws everyone almost the same garbage.The pressure is somewhat alike. But for the children of God our response makes the difference. Our action and reaction to life’s plenteous pressures must reflect the state of our regenerated heart and the state of our mind which is the mind of Christ. The will of God for His children is to live a life of abundance. It’s a gift, let’s bask in it.

Written by Ijeoma Obi
I am a passionate teacher who finds inexplicable joy in reading others' works. To express my inner thoughts, I write!