Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
David was a great warrior, one of the mightiest men in the world at that time, a man after God’s own heart, and a spiritual giant. And yet he was
plagued with depression at various seasons of his life. Was his faith not strong enough? Was he really a weakling? Was he less of a man of God’s own heart than Scripture tells us?
I have heard some military officers, ministers, and other “religious” folk tell the depressed that they need to act like men, need to have more faith, need to examine what sin is causing their depression, and other things like that. It saddens me greatly that such influencers are so, so wrong and lacking of understanding and compassion. No wonder many men today see a stigma to asking for help with their depression.
David, Charles Spurgeon, David Brainerd, and the saints mentioned in Tom Wootton’s Depression Advantage had faith, were strong, were not beset by public shame or grievous sin, and were believers who followed Christ. Yet they suffered from depression. The military officers on the wrong page think that depression is a matter of will, controlling your emotions, and being tough in body. The “religious” folk think that depression is a matter of the spirit, and that spiritually strong people are not prone to depression. I had a member of a church mental health ministry board ask me how I could be a born-again Christian and have gone through five years of depression. How spiritually misguided! He didn’t believe in the soul as separate from the spirit.
I differentiate between the “religious” folk, who have more resemblance to the Pharisees than to Jesus, and to “spiritual” folk, who are not just believers in Jesus Christ, but also His followers, depending on the Holy Spirit and Jesus to instruct their thinking rather than their own limited view of God’s universe.
Run away from the limited thinkers as fast as you can. Depression is a condition of the body, of the soul (mind, will, and emotions), and of the spirit. And healing must take place in all three domains. This has been the heart of my messages here. We’ll discuss in the next blog what it means to ask for help.