There is a sticky question many Christians struggle with: Is depression a sin?
This particular question is posed to me by more people than perhaps any other when trying to understand what is going on emotionally with themselves or with someone close to them. The situation isn't helped by well-meaning Christians who don't understand depression saying things like: "You just need to have more faith," or "There must be sin in your life, or you wouldn't feel like this," or even "If you'd pray harder (read the Bible more, have a deeper walk with the Lord), you wouldn't have this problem." To someone who already feels guilty about everything, this just piles on even more guilt.
I have found that sometimes it’s pastors who are most likely to suffer with depression. That’s because often times they are much more sensitive to sin and to evil in themselves and their world. They are also the ones most overcommitted in their service of the Lord, which makes them special targets for satanic attacks.
But are they right? Is depression a sin, or a picture of sin in our life? I answer that with an unequivocal no!
Where does this idea come from? We can trace this idea all the way back to John 9:3 where Jesus heals a blind man.
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
The man was thrown out after the Pharisees questioned him. Jesus replied,
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Many people will ask this question, “What sin have I committed that has brought me depression?” We need to remember the word’s of Jesus. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This happened so that the power of God might be displayed in your life.
While sins in the past can contribute to depression, suffering from depression and its effects are not. Viewing depression as sin in and of itself prevents individuals from seeking treatment. There is a huge GUILT that comes into play. It also ignores the fact that many Christians may respond to depression in unhealthy ways.
Just because someone is feeling spiritually dark, does not necessarily bean there is a spiritual cause of these feelings. There are physiological components that come into play. Continue in ministry.
How do we deal with depression?
My favorite scripture. 1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Who is chosen? Who is a royal priesthood? Who is a holy nation? Who is God’s special possession?
Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. Jesus knows your suffering. He experienced more suffering than any of us will ever know. I want to give you hope. Hope that the Church has suffered from this and come out on the other side. Hope that your story will bring others hope in their lowest times. Hope that they can bring God glory in the darkness. I want to pray over you today.
The light is coming.
The weight is being lifted.
Our true identity is being revealed.
Our purpose is being revealed.
We are starting to feel strength rise up in us.
The fog is being lifted.
Chains are breaking.
Freedom is yours.
Victory is in reach.