Depression comes in many forms and from many sources. If you have ever been seriously depressed, you know that it is debilitating and confusing. At first you might want to cry; but, after a while, you just don’t care anymore. Even the guilt you feel for not caring seems to just be added to the pile. Those who are clinically depressed often report that they feel nothing.
Now, I believe that there are physical reasons for some depression and I certainly don’t want to add my support to the “all depression has a spiritual cause” crowd. But most of the depression I have seen among believers seems to be there because they feel cut off from their life source. Jesus is our Life, but what do we do when we are separated from Him?
What if God appears to be the source of your problem? The legalist message presents a God who is angry, disappointed, pushy, and unloving. Because we always fall short of His desires, He is constantly displeased with us. At least that’s what the message says. We hear from the pulpit that we should try harder, that God expects perfection from us. Try harder, work more, never slack off. God knows you are a failure and He is always disappointed in your efforts. That’s what many people hear every Sunday.
Is that your God? Let me tell you what happens with this kind of thinking. Not only does it lead to depression, but it takes away the only real help you and I have when we begin to get depressed. If we can’t go to the Lord, where do we go?
Financial struggles?God expects perfection, but the kids got no shoes Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Relationship problems?God expects perfection, but mama’s got a bruise Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Tired?God expects perfection, but you need a snooze Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Tempted?God expects perfection, maybe find some booze Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Afraid?God expects perfection, you got so much to lose Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Feel like a failure?God expects perfection, but your son’s on the news Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Envious?God expects perfection, and your sister’s on a cruise Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
Overwhelmed?God expects perfection, and you got all these do’s Who ya gonna go to when you got the blues?
You get the picture? If God is distant, where can you go?
Listen—God is not distant. He loves you. He isn’t disappointed with you. He knew all about you, what you can do and what you can’t, before He called you to Himself.
Perfection? God doesn’t expect you to make yourself perfect. He doesn’t expect you to live a perfect Christian life. Instead, He gives you perfection. He gives you what you need to be spiritually acceptable in His perfect kingdom. The perfection He gives is the perfection of Christ. It’s a gift to you, because He loves you. Your own imperfection is an understood part of the deal.
Go to Him. Don’t be afraid. He will not push you away. He is not ashamed of you, no matter what you have or haven’t done. Tell Him what you are thinking and feeling. He has heard it all before and He cares.
The liar wants you to be disconnected from the One who loves you. He tells you a lie to keep you away from the Love. Don’t listen. Trust the One who went to the cross for you. He came for you because you couldn’t come to Him on your own.
Jesus loves you. It’s true!
(Comments? Maybe you can add some stanzas!)