Jeremy McGarity
February 2, 2022

Mental Help

Cultivating a Healthy Mind

Rooted Sermon Series

Mental health is a very important topic that must be talked about in the church. I know it’s a touchy subject but that doesn’t mean we shouldn't talk about it. If the Bible talks about it, you can bet Skyline Church is going to talk about it! Right now, we’re in a teaching series called, Rooted. I believe that God is far more concerned in changing our minds than changing our circumstances. We want God to take us out of the difficult situation or remove that "thorn in our side" but God is more interested in changing your mind about the situation than in changing the situation. 

Some of these statistics may alarm you as to why this is subject is so important right now …

Statistics: Since COVID …

  • Between the ages of 12-17, the suicide rate has gone up 51%
  • Domestic violence has increased 30%
  • Addictions and substance abuse are on the rise and overdose deaths in California far surpass Covid deaths.

AND ... research anticipates 75,000 “deaths of despair” in 2022. Why? Because people are losing hope. We said it since the beginning, you’ve got to have hope to cope

The consequences COVID has had on our society have specifically made an impression on our mental health. What are we going to do about it? 

Cultivate Our Minds

If we’re going to have a strong-rooted faith, then we must WORK at it. It’s important that we actually cultivate a healthy mind. Look what Romans 12:2 says,

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Romans 12:2
Notice it says, “let” God. Have you recently said the prayer, “Whatever You want God”? OR "Not my will but Yours." God is far more interested in changing your mind than changing your circumstances. 
You may be taking a look at our country and see it getting worse and worse. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it may actually get worse folks. But I also have Good News for you. Christ has already overcome the world so that YOU can have peace! Instead of losing faith, we need to cultivate our minds to be healthier and stronger. There’s more to life than what happens TO us. God wants to do something IN us. He wants to renew your mind!

The Bark Beetles Of Life

Bark Beetle Size

Those of you in California, and some other states, know about the Bark Beetle. This tiny insect (around half a centimeter) is so small that you can’t see where it’s entered a tree. Once inside, it slowly eats its way to the core of the tree, cutting off the nutrient flow the tree needs to not only thrive but survive. It can be weeks, months, or even years before evidence of the Bark Beetle is detected. 

It's no different when it comes to our minds. We need to be diligent in protecting our minds from the Bark Beetles of life. At first, we make little compromises and the bark beetle makes its tiny self a home inside our head. It be months or years before it's even noticed. Then, over time, we become desensitized to how our choices are affecting us because we can’t see how the "Bark Beetles of Life" are cutting off our main nutrient source—Christ. Listen, if you don't do the work of cultivating your mind, the devil will be glad to do it for you. It takes work to keep the beetles of lust, greed, anger, worry and other sins out. 

Take A Stand

This isn’t easy for some of you to hear because you’re going to have to change some habits. You’re going to have to stop meditating on gossip, half-truths, or even lies you’ve believed since childhood. Understand, your feelings do not shape your life, your beliefs do. So, it doesn't even matter if it's something true, if you believe it, you're living that belief. If someone said something about you as a child and you believed it, whether it was good or bad, it has affected your life. Some people were told they were useless or would never amount to anything and they believed that and it has affected their life. I want to encourage you to take a stand and say no more. Do not live your life based on the lies of the past. Live your life based on what God says about you! You are loved, cherished, important, and God has a specific purpose for your life.

Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:21, “… to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Let Christ be your purpose for walking this life. Being a Christian is not always easy. If you recently dedicated your life to Christ, you may be sensing life is getting a little harder right now. That’s because the devil wants you to throw in the towel. But I’m here to tell you to take heart and have hope because Christ has overcome the world! 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 

You'll Never Walk Alone

One thing that’s truly great about being a part of the church family is that we can walk this life together. There are a lot of people struggling with mental health right now and we want to help you. But we need to know. Fill out a Connection Card, call us, and come meet with our counseling team.  I don't know how long this craziness of Covid and variants and fear tactics will continue, but it doesn't have to affect our mental health. Again, I believe that God is far more concerned with changing our minds than changing our circumstances.  We can overcome with Christ's help.

And if you haven’t said the prayer, “Whatever You want God,” I want to challenge you to say it today. It's time to let go of control and trust Him. Additionally, take charge of what kind of information you’re letting into your mind. Put aside the manure of life and turn to that good organic compost of the Word of God.


For those of you who live in Southern California, I want to invite you to wear your favorite jersey to either service on Super Bowl Sunday, February 13! We’re going to have some fun with that, and I need to know who I should be praying for! Amen? 

For those of you who attended Membership Dinner, we’re excited to have you join us for Step 2! I've created a Game Plan for Your Growth that has 7 classes to guide you in spiritual growth. While I'd really like you to get through all seven classes, I especially hope you complete the first four Core Steps. We had hundreds of people join us for Step 1, Membership Dinner, last month and we are looking forward to hosting another dinner on March 30th. So, if you haven't been to one yet, just click the link and make sure you sign up for that! Everyone has a next step of faith. What's yours? Let me know in the comments. 

See you on Sunday!

Pastor Jeremy


6 thoughts on “Mental Help”

  1. I loved the bark beetles analogy. Today’s culture is like an infestation. A small crack here, a burrowing-in there. It’s just a TV show … it’s just a song.

    Nope, they’re stepping stones on the path to destruction.

    Pastor, keep throwing lifelines and encouraging everyone to get deep into the Word.

    And thank you, again, ALWAYS — for having courageously led the way to being the first to re-open and live the Word BOLDLY in actions and deeds when it mattered most.

  2. shilpidey said:

    Did one of the subtitles mean to say
    “You’ll never walk along” or “you’ll never walk alone?”

  3. Jocelyn Anna Cook said:

    Thank you Pastor Jeremy! Your sermons are amazing! It is true how those bark beetles get into our heads ..

  4. Letty Preciado said:

    Thank you! That critter bug, so destructive! This may be a good book topic? The tactics the enemy uses to attack our minds can be avoided. We need to be more aware, alert, prepared to kill this bug on the spot.
    Great analogy:)

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