Yes Christians Get Depressed Too!
The death of a loved one; the loss of a job; financial hardships; an unfavorable medical diagnosis; marital discord or divorce; an empty nest; unresolved childhood issues; ministry burnout; disobedient children; the list goes on and on of possible triggers for depression. Oftentimes Christians are under the impression that we are exempt from mental health struggles such as depression, anxiety, anger, and or trauma, for example. We have been led to believe that there must be something wrong with our faith or that we are not trusting God enough if we experience feelings such as depression, anxiety, worry, and stress. This notion could not be further from the truth. While it is true that we have a relationship with God, know scriptures, attend church, attend Bible study, and are active in ministries within the church; that does not make us immune to unpleasant emotions and internal battles.
We get weary, we get tired, we get overwhelmed, and we feel drained. Yes, prayer changes things. Yes, God is a healer. Yes, the Lord works miracles. And yes, He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ever ask, think, or imagine, but that does not mean we are shielded from experiencing life. At times, the thought is that we can just pray the pain away. We believe that we can just engulf ourselves in service for the Lord and be okay, only to find that eventually the very emotions, fears, and trials we have been running from manifest into depression, resentment, anger, fear, and overall emotional distress. The scriptures also tell us that faith without works is dead. "How does that scripture apply to addressing mental health concerns," you might ask? I am glad you did! God does make help available for us via counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists. While prayer, church attendance, and Bible study are indeed powerful and effective, sometimes we do have to take it a step further and seek godly counsel. That is in the Word also.
Sometimes healing and miracles are processes rather than instantaneous fixes. We have to work through our issues rather than just trying to get over our issues. Many times our concerns did not arise overnight; therefore the struggles will not be resolved overnight. We have to identify the root of our issues, process our issues, and then begin to experience freedom and healing. We also have to recognize that we are not weak, faithless, or hypocritical if we ask for help. God does provide vessels here on earth to help us heal. It is oftentimes easier for us to see a doctor if her have a medical condition; diabetes, cancer, hypertension, asthma, etc... but when it comes to mental health issues, we seem to put that into another category. Just as we have physical conditions that require professional attention, we have mental health conditions that should be addressed professionally. While Christians do get depressed too (and you can fill in any word with Christians get ______ too), we do not have to stay there. In conjunction with our prayer, Bible study, and church attendance, the Lord has created safe, confidential, and professional spaces for us to gain healing, freedom, and peace of mind from our troubles. We just have to be willing to ask for professional help.
Written By Quinnise Pettway, Licensed Professional Counselor