Is Depression a Sin?
Depression is overwhelming. Depression is is unexplainable. Depression is debilitating. Depression is something I struggle with and I know many of you do as well.
The past few weeks I’ve had conversations with far too many people how they believe that depression is a sin. They claim that a person who has turned his or her life over to the Lord should not have the propensity to go to the dark place that we who struggle with depression know all too well.
Sisters, this is a lie! Do not believe it for one second of your life. That attitude and those words just tear us down and don’t truly let the light of the Lord shine through our lives. The Lord is good and gracious and works in our lives in amazing ways that we often do not understand.
What is depression? I don’t mean being down in the dumps, being melancholy, or being sad. I mean true, real, can’t-get-out-of-bed, don’t-know-how-to-go-on-with-life depression. To put it succinctly and non scientific-ly, it’s a horrible disease. It’s a chemical imbalance that wrecks how our brains normally work. If the depression is not a chemical imbalance but is truly due to sin, the Holy Spirit is the one to reveal that to those of us who struggle – whether through the Word, Christian counseling, or His still, small voice in our lives. But, like I said, true depression does not fall into this category.
What other disease would we ever classify as a sin, dear one? Would we tell someone with cancer that their disease is a sin? Would we tell a parent of a child born with a hole in his heart that it was because of a sin? Would we tell someone with bipolar disorder that they struggle with that because of their own sin? Of course not! So why do so many people still jump on the “sin” train whenever depression is mentioned? Darling girl, don’t get sucked into that thinking. That is not from God.
Is depression a result of sin? Of course! Every bad thing in the world is a result of sin. If Adam and Eve had not sinned depression would not exist. If the universe still contained the perfection of the Garden of Eden depression would not exist. Once we’re in Glory with the Lord and the New Heavens and New Earth have been formed depression will not exist. Isn’t that an amazing promise? Every one of us who deals with the daily toil of depression has hope in the promises of the Lord!
Don’t get me wrong, dear friend, I am not justifying the things you and I do while in our times of depression. We certainly can and do sin through our depression and that, dear sister, is wrong. When we turn our backs on God, others, and even, at times, life itself, that is sin. And yes, that is wrong. Is it easy and normal to slip into those mindsets and actions? YES! But, even so, we need to call it what it is – sin – and sin is wrong.
That sin does not need to exist we have the tools to repent from those sins and keep from committing them. Through our depression we need to cry out to the Lord, asking Him to draw us closer to Himself and heal us through His Glory. We need to turn to other believers, praying with them and growing in the Lord with them. Sometimes the way to keep from the sins that so easily entangle us is medication and/or counseling. There is no shame in that. Will we feel normal right away? Not necessarily. Many of us have been in the darkness of depression – pleading with the Lord to be freed, praying alongside other believers, and being wise in seeking medication and counseling and yet nothing changes. That is not sin. That is sickness.
Don’t be ashamed or hard on yourself, beautiful one. Don’t hide your depression like I did for years because of the fear that others will judge you. Find those who will love you and walk with you in the darkness. Find those who encourage you and lift you up in prayer. Find those who point you to Jesus, even in the deepest pain.
Most of all, dear sister, turn to God. He is Grace itself. God’s covenant of grace teaches us to welcome in and love those who are struggling with depression, not condemn them and tell them that it is due to their own sin. If any of us who struggle with this disease are believers we are covered by the grace of God. Period. What a blessing!
You are loved, darling, not only by me but, more importantly, by the Lord. What an amazing Savior!
How can I pray for you as you go through seasons of depression?