Spiritual Causes for Depression

When looking at depression biblically, you must examine the root causes for the way you feel. Whether or not you have a medical diagnosis, there is a critical component that the Bible addresses directly.
From the Bible you can safely determine that essentially you are comprised of two parts—material/organic and immaterial. If you have been reading regularly, you have read that various diseases can cause or contribute to depression. If the problem is not proven to originate in the material (organic) part of your body, it must then originate in the immaterial (non-organic) part of your being.

The root cause of non-organic depression is found in the immaterial part of man in what the Bible refers to as your heart.

The heart is the biblical word used to describe the inner person. The heart is the immaterial (non-flesh) part of you that includes your thoughts, beliefs, desires, mind, feelings, intentions, and emotions.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

What you think, believe and desire in your immaterial part (mind, heart, soul, feelings) is what your material part (body) follows. You think a thought and your body responds accordingly. You may be so accustomed to your body automatically responding to these commands that you may not even think about them as you are doing them! Many kinds of thoughts and desires may initiate an automatic response. When you feel angry, for example, you may scream and rant or you might quietly seethe. When you desire escape from problems, you may sleep, drink, or use drugs. When you are in trouble, you may lie to avoid exposure and discipline. These responses may have become automatic for you.

Probably without your direct knowledge, you have trained yourself to react in a certain way when confronted by a circumstance or situation. Whether you tend to scream, drink, lie, or do some other behavior, through repetition it becomes a habit or pattern. These sinful patterns are found in the heart. The Bible has much to say about the heart as the vital spiritual organ in the body.

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 (NIV)

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Matthew 15:18-19 (NIV)

Do you struggle with evil thoughts, bitterness, immorality, lying, or gossip? What does the Bible say about the condition of your heart? God’s view of your heart is found in Jeremiah 17:9:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NKJV).

The deceitful heart is bent on satisfying “me,” having my own way, and living life for my own pleasure, with “me” at the center of my universe.