Depression can knock you off your feet. It can stop you dead in your tracks. It can steal your life, your energy, your hope, and your faith. For many Christians, depression is something they would rather either ignore completely or keep to themselves and suffer in silence.
In this article you will have access to a video from a Grammy winning Christian artist Mandisa. I will also list 6 things you may not know about Christians who suffer from depression.
Depression can be very isolating. It is important that sufferers have someone to turn to. But it isn’t always easy for them to reach out to the very community who promises support, love, and acceptance.
Sadly, some Christian communities shun or shame those who suffer in silence, especially those with suicidal thoughts. It’s about time we change this perspective but first we must have a conversation.
Barriers to getting help
I’m a firm believer that depression and suicidal thoughts often come into the life of a Believer when they are burned out, fatigued, and discouraged. We all fight invisible battles that can bring us to our knees. As a result, the church should function as an educated source of support, not an enemy due to lack of knowledge. I’m sure most people believe that Christians are self-centered, arrogant, people-plea-seers who judge and condemn. Sadly, I can’t disagree 100% with this perspective. Not ALL Christians are this way. In fact, some are the most beautiful, loving, caring, and giving people. But in some sectors of the world, this perspective couldn’t be more true. Like with anything else in this world, there are judgments that need to be addressed. If we don’t address it, we stay oppressed.
Suffering is not unusual in the Christian walk
It is important that the church and its followers become aware of the fact that life’s oppressive nature does not diminish just because one is a Believer. In fact, some may believe that oppressive forces become more oppressive as the Believer advances and matures in God. The Apostle Paul provides a good example of this when he says:
“…I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus 1. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move.
I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea, and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches….” (2 Corinthians 11:16-33 New International Version).
As you can see, Paul knew what suffering was all about. Sadly, Christians forget this truth and fail to offer the comfort Christians need to cope with their emotional and psychological battles.
For a snip-it of my own experience within the Christian community, listen to my audio version here:
In an effort to give some exposure to the battles Believers experience, I have listed 5 things you may not know about Christians who suffer depression (in addition to a video of Mandisa’s experience) at: blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers.
Be sure to tune in this coming Wednesday, June 14th.