God’s Perfect Use of Imperfect People, Part 3

February 9, 2015 at 1:02 PM

How it looks when things work nicely in the brain.

How it looks when things work nicely in the brain.

In our previous articles, we have been dealing with imperfect people whom God can and does use to spread His gospel of grace. While you would never tell a person with a broken leg to “snap out of it and walk!” I find it fascinating when we feel that we need to do this with people who are “depressed” or “down in the dumps.”

The causes of depression are many. The causes of ADHD can also be numerous. Our brains are extremely technical and even though scientists have learned a great deal about how our brains work (and what it looks like when they don’t work well), it’s doubtful that humanity will ever be able to successfully map the brain in its entirety.

However, what science has taught us is truly remarkable. In our first part, I spoke of Elijah and Peter and the potential issues they had because of how their brains work. I emphasized that I was not intending to be disrespectful to them as God’s servants, but there are things we can learn from these godly men. I believe one of the most important things is that God uses imperfect people to accomplish his goals. We don’t have to wait until we believe ourselves to have “arrived” to a certain point. The other thing is that though people become Christians, our physical or physiological issues are not necessarily (or automatically) healed.

Nowhere in Scripture are we promised that when we become Christians, God will heal us of every physical problem we ever experience. I know some disagree with me and that’s their right. I simply don’t believe that is part and parcel of salvation for this life, though certainly, God can heal us if He so chooses.

Nonetheless, there are actual Christians who have issues. Some of those issues are a result of their neurotransmitters being way out of range. Of course a person can have a very high reading of neurotransmitters as well, which would then make them “manic” and they could actually experience hallucinations because of the tremendous activity in their brains.

Think of certain illegal street drugs. Crack cocaine, Ecstasy, etc., are the type of drugs that will cause tremendous highs, doing for our brain what was not intended. Through the use of these drugs, people become quickly addicted to a supernatural high that makes them believe they are super human, or can read people’s thoughts, or can do no wrong. Beyond this, these drugs can make their senses so sensitive that their physical feelings are amped up considerably. But imagine coming down off that high. Is it any wonder that people become addicted to chasing after a high like that? These drugs force neurotransmitters to greater and constant activity in your brain. The resulting high seems to be of supernatural origin, yet it is the overworking of neurotransmitters.

Likewise the person who may suffer from symptoms that are often attributed to depression feels terrible all the time. He/she cannot climb above ground and are constantly faced with the question of self worth. Of course, Christians are not supposed to be concerned about self worth, are we? The problem for the person whose neurotransmitters are well below range is that this is a question they are forced to deal with all the time and nothing they can do will answer that question. They can read the Bible until they’re blue in the face. They can pray until their knees grow great horned blisters. The nagging self-loathing continues unabated and many of these people spiral down into a funk/depression that for some, ends in suicide. Yet, these people are Christians! What happened?

Problems with our brain are still looked at as “inferior” issues. It’s not like breaking your leg, screaming in pain, then going to the doctor to have them provide pain medicine, set the break, put in a cast, then wheel you out to your waiting car. That physical pain is real and no one questions it. In fact, most people extend grace, pity, and sorrow to the person who broke their leg.

This is not the case with the person whose brain does not function like a “normal” person’s brain. We don’t see their “pain,” but we see they’re annoyed, even angry and short-tempered. They try to explain to us that they feel as though they have a vice on their head and that they’re walking in a fog and our natural response (or temptation) is to tell them to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get on with life.

But in reality, if – as we noted in our last article – a person’s neurotransmitters are well below the bottom end of the normal range, can we expect them to honestly be able to pull themselves up by anything? It’s ridiculous and unloving to expect that, yet that is what we do.

We noted previously that there are four neurotransmitters that work in the Frontal lobes of our brains. Without these chemicals, the nerve impulses cannot move successfully from one synapse (at the end of a neuron) to the next. Imagine driving your car and every time you hit a speed bump, your car died. You would have to let it roll to a stop, put it in park, then start it again. If you were on a road that had speed bumps every few feet, this would be maddening! This is what our brain does and it does it successfully with the help of neurotransmitter chemicals or not. The “normal” person does not even think about, but for the “abnormal” person, this is a constant issue that is always at the forefront of the brain.

But are all neurotransmitters alike? Do they all do the same thing? Nope and that’s where it even gets trickier. We need to distinguish between them by noting the role each plays in the brain function and then go from there. Is having a higher amount of Serotonin good? Yes, but at certain times it’s not. Same with Dopamine and the other two and we also need to find out about GABA, what it does and how it works as part of the picture.

We’ll do that next time, I promise!

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

God’s Perfect Use of Imperfect People, Part 2 God’s Perfect Use of Imperfect People, Part 4

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