Our childhood experiences, our biology and our spiritual history all contribute to our present makeup. In our struggle to overcome negative feelings like depression, we need to remember that while our psychological and biogenetic past cannot be changed, the way we view it can be changed as we use the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to change our spiritual condition. Then our psychological and biological present can also be renewed. Thank You God!
If we draw our identity from the cluster of negativity around us … feelings of anger, helplessness, hopelessness, isolation, being overwhelmed, and perhaps even suicidal thoughts … rather than from our true identity as a “new creation in Christ Jesus,” then indeed, we are continually being sucked into a black hole of despair. We are easily trapped in a self-reinforcing belief system about ourselves: I’m worthless … there is no hope. And by the way, this is exactly where Satan would like us to be.
Healing can start when we recognize that our problem is not anger or childhood abuse or even “depression.” Our problem is really that the lenses we use to view ourselves are based on misinterpretations and distortions we’ve developed from our past experiences and the world’s system. This just re-enforces a self-identity of a worthless, inadequate, disconnected, incompetent person.
Just like en enemy trying to brainwash a POW, Satan’s plot as the Great Deceiver is to brainwash us. And he starts the day we are born. His goal is to establish strongholds of lies in our heart, and being very gullible kids, we walk easily into most of his traps. Maturity is being able to undo these lies, and insert the truth and act on it. As we all know, we all are works in progress, because the lies start early and go deep. It would be nice if we received a lobotomy or brain transplant when we were saved. But God has a “slower, but richer” process than we would like.
Only when we let the power of the Christmas and Easter stories form our lenses will we learn our new identity based on the truth of God’s Word. When our lives begin to revolve around an understanding of God, life, and our own self-identity that is based on faith and guided by the Bible, we can begin to overcome depression and all the feeling states that interfere with our perspective and functioning.
Today, identify a couple lies about yourself from the old brainwashing tapes that play in your head. Instead of seeing yourself as worthless, begin to view yourself as a child of God, a shining star, His chosen and beloved. The characteristics of that new self-identity are based on faith in Christ, and can include surrendering to God’s purposes … kindness … pure love … goodness … reaching for truth … courage … fortitude … and determination to keep going based on who God is, not on who we are.
Dear Father God, help me to stop focusing on the swirling symptoms of depression that surround me like debris around a black hole. Help me instead to focus on Jesus and what He has done for me. Help me to remember that I am a new creation in Him. Please help me break this narcissism of a me-centered view instead of a God-centered view of my life. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One you sent to give me hope, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17