Robin Williams suicide has again brought the issue of depression to the forefront.
Depression is not the easiest thing to overcome, it typically takes a number of steps. The important first step is to realize that there are steps we can take and to not take on victim thinking concerning this problem.
If we aren’t careful we can take on a victim mentality when it comes to healing depression. This means thinking, “Mental illness is just too difficult. Unless God supernaturally heals the person there’s no hope.”
There’s a lot of focus these days on people not understanding mental illness. This came out a lot when Rick Warren’s son committed suicide. “Don’t judge” became a marker of proper Christian compassion.
Of course, it is true, we should not judge. I haven’t walked in Rick Warren’s shoes nor in the place his son walked. Mental illness often does involves actual organic issues, physical chemical imbalances in the brain. Yes, this does need physical healing. However, we can’t stop there or we may move into a victim posture.
Many times, when the conditions of healing are present, physical healing happens.
The Conditions for Healing to Overcome Depression
Depression always involves negative thinking. Some have described it as anger turned inward. The condition for healing is resolving this negative thinking.
Why do people have negative thinking, self-anger, and feelings of hopelessness?
People have these things because of unresolved emotional issues in their lives, usually things from their past they haven’t dealt with that have been avoided and pushed down. Unfortunately the church so often takes a deliverance only approach toward healing, meaning that we seek to cast something out – anger, rejection, hopelessness, etc. – or pray something in – physical healing. This is, of course, good in as far as it goes. But the Bible is clear that God also wants us to deal with our heart issues.
Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
If someone hurts you emotionally, there’s a biblical way to deal with it. If you fail at something and experience loss and disappointment, there’s a biblical way to deal with it.
I’m not referring to denying our emotions or casting something out. I’m talking about coming to terms with something hurtful that has happened. This means knowing that God is good and that He loves you regardless of what has happened to you. If recurring negative thoughts persist, it indicates this is still being worked out in your heart.
Ideally this “coming to terms” should happen naturally in healthy Christian families. Hurtful events are discussed, love is affirmed, loss is processed, and your worth is validated. However, if we didn’t grow up in this type of family, these skills still should be learned.
Fruit and Root
The key to helping those with depression is to get to the root of the problem through prayer ministry and not just focus on casting out the fruit.
If you have a lifetime of unresolved issues it’s going to manifest somehow. (If a car is consistently given unclean gasoline it’s going to sputter.) These issues could manifest in ways such as depression, addiction, fears and phobias, etc.
God wants to move in His power and supernaturally touch us, and He also wants us to mature and deal with our heart issues and not allow them to fester.
Will dealing with unresolved issues always heal depression? Probably not. But it will sure help much of the time.
We would love to hear from you. Was this post helpful? Are there topics you’d like to hear more about? Any questions?
- Overcoming Loss and Grief Impacts Your Experience in Father’s Love
- It is Normal to Need Ministry, Finding Freedom from Depression, Anxiety, and Brokenness
- Prayer Ministry Simplicity
- 6 Prefrontal Cortex Benefits on Emotional Health
- Dealing With The Anger Stronghold
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