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  • Writer's pictureAdam O'Neill

Journal Series No. 001 - Integration and Spiritual Disciplines

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Journal Series No. 001 - Integration and Spiritual Disciplines

The following is an excerpt from The Daily: An Integrated Mental Health Journal independently published by Adam O'Neill & Associates and available here.

Pursuit of Christ and the forms it takes in the life of the Christian are not checkboxes. From a heart filled with love for God comes good works and fruit. As such, this journal is not a “12-week journey to transformed faith” or “6 easy steps for a happy life.” It is meant to serve as a resource in your walk with God. The real heart change, the sanctification process, comes from Him through the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Bible reading or prayer for the sake of crossing an item off a daily to-do list misses the point entirely. Instead, we read God’s Word because going without it would be like going without food or water. We pray because we can do nothing without His help. There are no quick fixes or gimmicks in the Christian walk.

This journal relies on the elements of integrated Christian psychiatry. This model of understanding the relationship between faith and science, as I explain to my patients, relies heavily on several truths—two of which deserve discussion here:

First, if we find something to be true, it comes from God. Whether seen in a microscope or telescope, through logical proofs, or revealed in His word—the Bible—“All truth is God’s truth.” This means in clinical practice we can pull from a variety of secular theories that have proven useful tools in the treatment of mental health conditions.

Second, you are made “fearfully and wonderfully” (Ps. 139:14) as both a physical body, with biology, chemistry, and neuroanatomy, as well as an immaterial soul/spirit. This two-part nature of what it means to be human is intertwined in complex and overlapping ways.

We serve a God who has given the world many good gifts. From the air we breathe and food we eat, to the beauty of nature, He has been abundant in blessing us. Some of His good gifts are included in this journal: scripture, prayer, gratitude, and sleep. When you set daily goals, think of all the blessings from Him that are required to achieve them. Above all these good gifts, chiefly, He has given us His Son, Jesus. The danger in this journal is separating any of the good gifts from their ultimate purpose as a glorification of Jesus. We, like the people of the New Testament time, look to the bread, not the bread giver (John 6:26).

Receive these good gifts with thanksgiving, and glorify Jesus in them. In this way, they remain good gifts, and God remains your God.

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