• Do you believe you have a disease called depression that causes you to feel sad, tired, disinterested in life, guilty, or suicidal?
• Do you believe you have this disease because you inherited it from your father or mother?
• Are you able to control your feelings?
• Have you begun to neglect your responsibilities (e.g., staying home from work, not paying bills, not caring for children)? How often?
• What do you do while avoiding responsibilities? (Do you stay in bed, cry, sleep, or drink alcohol?)
• What are you thinking about when you feel sad, disinterested in life, or suicidal?
• What problems result from avoiding responsibilities?
• Would you like to understand what the Bible says about your thoughts and behavior, and what you can do about it?
No rational person would deny that the feelings of depression are real! I would would even suggest defining all the feelings and behaviors that characterize you at this time. What words would you use to describe how you feel? Are you sad, grief stricken, despondent, mourning, hopeless, despair, angry, lonely, or tired?
I would suggest reading Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 26:3, 41:10; Lamentations 3:21-24; Psalm 43:4, 46:1; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Hebrews 12:2, with a notebook and pencil nearby to take notes about what you read. You may notice that the Bible uses words like “sorrow,” “grieved,” and “downcast” to describe these feelings. We do not find the phrase “depressive disorder” in the Bible, but various Psalms (69, 51, 32, 38, and 45) clearly describe the behavior and mindset of a person who is suffering from depression.
This is called gaining a biblical perspective on the problem. It is important that you begin to think in biblical terms regarding spiritual issues. Once you begin to adopt biblical thinking and practice it in your behavior, you will see changes in your feelings. On the other hand, when someone labels you with “depressive disorder,” you become saddled with a medical diagnosis code, which in the medical realm may mean you have an illness from which you will never recover. You are now a victim of an illness. There is no victory there.
When behavior is labeled as a disease, it means you have a problem that cannot be fixed, which takes away all hope. You are led to believe that you will have “depressive disorder” for the rest of your life, even if you never have another depressive episode.
When you define depression the way the Bible defines it—“sorrow” and “despair”—this describes feelings and sinful behavior for which Christ died! There is a lot of hope there! A behavior can be stopped and avoided because it is a choice. The choice begins with the desires of the heart.
Christ didn’t die for “depressive disorder”—he died to give you victory over the flesh that drives you to be sinful in your thoughts and desires. He didn’t die for diseases; he died for sins.
I pray this brings you tremendous hope!