Saturday, August 16, 2014

DEPRESSED?

DEPRESSED?

"25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Mt 6:25ff

The text above is from Jesus' "sermon on the mount" where Jesus had just warned the people of trying to serve two masters and of having two gods. But people try to all of the time. But the duplicity represents a divided soul which necessarily means conflict. This conflict will feel like the worst kind of depression.

If a person is depressed, there might be a very simple explanation for why. When God wants you to walk to Jesus but you keep walking to the bar, you are going to be depressed. When God wants you to be content and practice self-control, but you spend, spend, spend to the point of bankruptcy, you are going to be depressed. When God wants you to read His Word and hide it in your heart, but you can't find a single Bible verse you know, you are going to be depressed. When God wants you to love your neighbor as yourself but you continually allow your tongue to gossip and spew venom, you are going to be depressed.  When God wants you wives to respect your husbands but you talk about him behind his back, you are going to be depressed. When you have a laundry list of chores to do at home and the house is in disrepair because you are lazy, you are going to be depressed. When you never miss your favorite recreational activity but skip out of worship and fellowship, you are going to be depressed. When you receive from others but hardly lift a finger to help others, you are going to be depressed. 
Depression, anxiety, and worry is going to happen when your inner self is in conflict with the outer self. When you smile at a man but inside you seethe with hatred and ill will, you are fighting a war in your own being that will destroy your spirit. A war in the mind that wants to do evil and professes to do good is a mind in turmoil and you are going to be depressed.
Jesus said to focus on today instead of tomorrow. Worrying about clothing, food and shelter is unproductive and takes a person away from functioning today, Mt 6. Jesus said, "don't worry" and I think He meant it.
Get right with God on the inside and you will be happy. Be true to God and to yourself and you will rejoice. Focus on the finish line with Jesus Christ and take your eyes off of the vain things of this world and you will have the abundant life Jesus came to give.
"4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:4-8
Instead of getting defensive and throwing up a wall of excuses that your bad feelings have nothing to do with you, and that there's nothing you can do to affect them, do the self-examination and find the conflicts in your own mind and soul.
I say all of this with humility and love, Dan

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