Monday, December 28, 2009

Is Depression a Sin?

"God is in the process of helping me be a little easier on myself," says Marie, "and accepting things I once thought were negatives, like depression. It's okay to be depressed. How can you not be depressed? You sustained a major hit emotionally. Depression is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a symptom. To me it represented a signal to take an honest look at what I was going through, to feel all of the feelings, and to look at the issues."

Some people think depression is a sin.

"Depression itself is not a sin," explains Dr. Archibald Hart. "Depression is a natural response to loss. My behavior may be sinful, but the depression is never sinful."

In the Bible, the prophet Elijah felt so depressed at one point that he wanted to end his life. "[Elijah] came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, LORD,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep" (1 Kings 19:4-5). But God had other plans for Elijah. God first cared for Elijah's physical needs and then directed Elijah along a new path for his life.

Jesus was the perfect man (without sin), yet Jesus, too, felt depressed at times.

"Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to show grief and distress of mind and was deeply depressed. Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow" (Matthew 26:36-38 AMP).

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