Monday, January 21, 2013
Defeating Debilitating Depression
Our inner mood shows up in our surroundings. A happy and joyful spirit produces a clean home, just as a clean home creates a happy a joyful spirit. The reverse is also true. I've noticed that the state of my home often reflects the state of my spirit. If I'm depressed, I get behind in my domestic chores, I have a hard time keeping up with the messes my children make, and my home gets cluttered and... well... messy. And, of course, my messy home makes me even more depressed. It's a spiraling effect that can just get worse and worse if it's not pounced on and corrected.
How do you correct depression? How do you fix the way you feel? We can't... but God can! Here are a few steps to overcoming depression:
1. Decide why you're depressed. Usually depression stems from feeling sorry for ourselves or out of guilt. Depression could be caused by a sin that we are in bondage to and having a hard time breaking free of. It can be brought on by loss--whether of someone close to us, of our health or independence, or of finances or things. Many things can be a source of depression. What's yours?
2. Connect to the Life Giver. Jesus tells us that He came that we might have life "more abundantly" (John 10:10). Depression in no way resembles abundant life. In fact, it drains the life out of you. You cannot overcome depression without the help of Christ. Are you connected to Christ? To get connected to Christ, you must:
* Know you are a sinner. Everyone sins (does bad things). --Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"
* Know there's a price, or penalty, for sin and that penalty is death in an eternal Hell. --Romans 6:23a, "For the wages of sin is death;"
* Know that Christ, God's Son, paid that debt for you when He willingly died on the cross. --Romans 6:23b, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." and Romand 5:8, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
* Know that there is only one thing you have to do-- believe. --John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." and Romans 10:9, 10, 13, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you know you're a sinner and can't get to Heaven on your own, if you know you're on your way to a Devil's Hell, if you know Christ died on the cross so you can go to Heaven instead of Hell, and if you want to place your faith and trust in Jesus and accept the free gift He offers, just tell Him!
3. Allow Christ to comfort you. He is the God of all comfort. --Psalm 55:22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."; Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
4. Allow Christ to remove your guilt. --I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."; Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed out transgressions from us."; I John 3:20, "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."
5. Change your stinking thinking! Realize that whatever you perceive as God doing TO YOU, He is actually doing THROUGH YOU to help you to grow and to give you the ability to help others. --Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
Change your thinking to reflect what Christ would have us to think. --Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue; if there be any praise, think on these things."
6. Take steps toward healing even if you don't yet feel it inside. We all know depression leads to a disordered home and that a messy, disordered home leads to depression. Get up and force yourself to clean your house. Get someone to help you if you need to, but get it done. Just simply having clean, ordered surroundings can make a big difference in your mood!
Get your thoughts off yourself and onto someone else. What can you do for another person? Can you bake a batch of cookies for your neighbor? Can you cook a meal for a sick friend? Can you call and cheer up a home-bound senior? Can you take a needy teenager out shopping? Can you write a card on condolence to a grieving family? Doing something for someone else will make you feel better.
When you give your depression to God, you'll feel lighter, freer, better. Your home will start to reflect the order you feel inside. Your life will feel more complete. Trust in Him. Give Him your burden, and let Him work through you!
Do you know someone who is depressed? Do you struggle with depression? Can you think of other things that can be added to the list?