How to Slay Depression in 3 Steps

How to Slay Depression in 3 Steps

You will need to learn the timely habit of casting every negative emotion, thought, feeling, or desire on Him. The plain and simple truth is that you are not sufficient to carry such things. That is not how you were made. So take those aberrant cares and cast them onto the only one who truly loves you, and watch your depression melt away.

The Call to War

Depression is like an unassailable fog that settles upon the harbor of the soul. It is a leach upon the fledgling emotions and a disease upon formerly vibrant desires. It is a thickly clouded midnight sky that chokes out distant starlight. It’s a bandit that comes upon you and grabs hold of you like a barnacle on the underside of a merchant ship. And when you are a Christian, depression is about as welcome in your life as a fox would be at a hen convention.

As a pastor, I have seen the soul-paralyzing effects that depression can wrangle upon the heart of countless men and women. As a man, I have felt my mangled heart periodically strangled by the silent thief lurking in the melancholy shadows. From my earliest memories to this very week, depression and anxiety have been a feature of my life. Yet, I am not a victim, and neither are you.

For a few moments, I would like to sketch out a three-step guide found in 1 Peter 5:6-7 on how to slay the tyrant called depression. This blog will not discuss clinical depression, medication, therapy, or counseling. Instead, I aim to describe the spiritual warfare that has aided my heart and soul, and I pray it will comfort you.

The Text

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Step 1: Reject Human Pride

Everything in this verse hinges upon killing pride because if depression were an engine, then pride would be its gasoline. It is the fuel that propels major depressive episodes into spiraling tailspins. Thus, if you want to sever the shoots of depression, you must first cut off the bitter roots of pride in both its mange forms.

The most apparent form of pride is self-love, which leads to an eventual credibility crisis. When humans become infatuated with themselves, the ego inflates beyond rational possibility. The propaganda and hype quickly outpace common sense, and soon the person will have to work increasingly harder to believe how incredible they know that they are not. This disparity between perception and reality can lead to various forms of depression and must be repented of.

And yet, the most damaging form of pride is not self-love; it is self-hatred. Instead of spending hours fantasizing about how incredible you are, this manifestation of pride leads its victims to recall how awful they are. And whether that self-loathing comes from destructive addictions, poor body image, failed relationships, or the sorrow from self-induced consequences, the effect of perpetual harmful self-consumption will give way to the same toxic narcissism as self-love.

Biblically speaking, the human heart will become septic if the self is all you feed it. We may hate various aspects of who we are. We may have abiding bitterness over how things have turned out or based on how we have been treated. We may ache over feelings of abandonment. We may shake our heads at how stupid we were that one time (or many times). And we may carry a duffle bag full of self-blame over this or that scenario. But, feeding yourself more of you is like adopting a diet of pure lard and hoping to get healthy.

The only way to kill your depression is to stop making everything about you. Sure, you probably have failed a million times. You are also the common denominator in all of your ruined circumstances. And yet, you do not belong to you. If you are a Christian, Christ has purchased your life and hidden it in Him so that He is where your hope comes from.

Instead of punishing yourself with more self-hatred, give yourself permission to stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on Him. When the chatterbox inside of you screams, “why do people treat me this way” you cry back: “Look how kind my savior has treated me!”. When the accusations begin to gurgle, “you are one pathetic loser,” from the tar pits of depression, you resist the urge to grovel alone in destructive pity and speak to your flesh, saying: “Look at who Christ has made me. I am no loser; I am a son.

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