The Heart and Depression

Because the heart can be referred to as the control center of your being, what you think, believe, and desire in your heart is what guides and determines your actions. We do not naturally think about our heart being wicked. Perhaps your friends and family refer to you as having a good heart or a big heart. Maybe you have never before heard someone say that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Take a look at the sin habits found in Matthew 15:18-19. If you are honest with yourself, you may see that you have some of the sin habits found in those verses. Those sins are the results of sinful thoughts, beliefs, and desires. Every action begins as a thought. The thought is fueled by a desire or belief. The desire or belief originates in the heart.

What you have been thinking about, believing, and desiring in your heart is what has caused you to feel depressed or to have sorrow without hope. God is using this time of depression in your life to reveal the contents of your heart.

To deal biblically with depression, you must learn what God says about your problem. To start, God says that what you are thinking, believing, and desiring in you heart needs to be dominated by Him through His Word.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

As the Word of God enters your mind and heart, you will begin to have a better idea of God’s thoughts, standards, and goals for you. This is called being “renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23). A wise counselor will help you to understand what God has to say about your thoughts, desires, and affections of the heart, and to help you conclude that all you do or say is a result of what you think.

Before you can change what you habitually do, you must change how you habitually think. Before you can change what you do, you have to come to believe or think differently in your mind.
What you think or believe about depression will determine how you respond to it. If you believe depression is largely biological, you may think the most you can do is get long-term therapy or take a pill to feel better.

If the depression is not a biological issue, a true alternative is to allow the Lord to affect your belief system. You must come to believe in your thinking that your behavior is ungodly, and that living a depressed way of life is wrong and unbiblical. This will require a shift in your core beliefs! Your desire to change must be motivated by a deeper level than “This will get me into trouble” or “What will people think?” Stopping the depressive behavior because of sinful consequences is not repentance.

An attitude of repentance takes place when your belief system is affected. The biblical reason to stop the behavior is that you have come to believe it grieves God and causes Him sorrow.