Aid to the Mentally Ill
The truth from God’s Word has great power. The psalmist realized this and entreated God, “Send out your light and your truth. May these themselves lead me.” (Ps. 43:3) Many times the light and truth from the Bible has brought direction and purpose to the minds of distressed individuals, even those suffering from mental illnesses. An experience received from Michigan well exemplifies this:
A woman had been a mental patient for over ten years. During that time she received regular psychiatric treatment, was given shock treatments and attended a school for the recovery of the mentally ill for a period of a year. Additionally, she took some $5,000 worth of medication for her condition. In spite of all the costly treatment and medication, on a number of occasions she contemplated suicide.
However, one day her husband, who had some association with Jehovah’s witnesses, asked her, “Whom are you praying to?” “To God,” was the reply. Then he encouraged her to use God’s name Jehovah in her prayer. That made her stop and think. In time one of Jehovah’s witnesses began conducting a weekly Bible study in the home. On his invitation the couple attended a convention of Jehovah’s witnesses. The women writes, “I knew that this was what I had been searching for all my life.”
She continues: “After returning home from the assembly I began attending congregation meetings regularly. I was then able to discontinue all medication. Also, up until that time I had been a heavy smoker, but I was able to break that habit. About that time I called my psychiatrist, and he wanted to know how I was progressing. I told him that I was feeling better than I had felt in all of my life. He asked if I was still on my medication. When I told him that I had quit, he inquired as to how I was able to do that so suddenly. My reply was that I was now associating with Jehovah’s witnesses. He responded by saying that he wished that all the mentally ill could find a cure like that.”
Since that time both she and her husband have received training in the congregation Theocratic Ministry School and they are serving as ministers of the good news of God’s kingdom. Truly, it is the course of wisdom to look to Jehovah and his Word for light and truth.
Questions From Readers
● Proverbs 11:29 states that one bringing ostracism upon his house “will take possession of wind” and that “a foolish person will be a servant to the one wise in heart.” What is meant by these statements?—I. M., U.S.A.
The words of Proverbs 11:29 were originally directed to Israel. This text warns against foolish action that results in bad consequences, in stating: “As for anyone bringing ostracism upon his own house, he will take possession of wind; and a foolish person will be a servant to the one wise in heart.”
A figure of speech is being employed in saying that “anyone bringing ostracism upon his own house . . . will take possession of wind.” Of course, it is not meant that a person can literally take the wind in his hands or gain possession of it in that manner. The apparent reference is to trying to acquire something lacking any real substance, something he cannot hold on to. In the book of Ecclesiastes there is frequent use of the expression “striving after wind.” For instance, Ecclesiastes 1:14 reads: “I saw all the works that were done under the sun, and, look! everything was vanity and a striving after wind.” In other words, vain works end up in futility. So, Proverbs 11:29 makes it clear that a man who brings ostracism upon his house will not fare well. He will gain nothing of value. It will be as though he were taking possession of the wind.
But, how does one bring ostracism upon his own house? Consider the case of Achan. When the Israelites overthrew Jericho, everything of value in the city was to be devoted to Jehovah, to whom Jericho was the firstfruits of Canaan. But greedy Achan robbed God by appropriating to himself a good-looking garment from the land of Shinar, two hundred shekels of silver and a gold bar. Later, Israel suffered defeat at Ai. This prompted an investigation into the reason for such a setback. Eventually, Achan’s wrongdoing was uncovered and he confessed. Thereupon Joshua and all Israel took Achan, his sons and daughters, the stolen articles and “everything that was his” to the low plain of Achor. Then Joshua said to Achan: “Why have you brought ostracism upon us? Jehovah will bring ostracism upon you on this day.” “With that,” the account relates, “all Israel went pelting him with stones, after which they burned them with fire. Thus they stoned them with stones.” Certainly Achan brought ostracism upon himself and his own house.—Joshua, chapter 7.