Depressed? Try De-Compressing

8 Jul

Recent statistics from Barna research tell us that 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. Does hearing that statistic alarm you? Surprise you? If this is true of pastors , what about the average church attender sitting on the 7th row?

Pastors are just as susceptible to the ups and downs of life as any ordinary , card-carrying christian would be ; however, they do face unique pressures in thier calling as shepherds of the sheep.

Depression , according to Websters dictionary  means to ” to press or thrust down, humble , dispirit, a weakening of vitality”. So if you and I succumb to depression , in essence we are giving in to the daily pressures and disparaging words that fly at us like flaming arrows out of the mouths of friends and foes alike. Some of those arrows miss the target , but others hit us dead on and embed themselves into our vulnerable hearts and minds. And let me remind you that you that you do have an enemy out there that seeks to kill your spirit and destroy your life!

So how do we combat depression as followers of Chist ? Here are a few tried and true remedies we can use :

1)Most people isolate themselves when they sense depression coming on. Instead , try this : Make it your aim to connect with people , especially those who are upbeat and positive. Your friends can make you or break you. Find some friends who will stand with you through the good times and the bad.

2) If you can’t seem to shake depressing thoughts , choose to think on positive God-honoring things. Most people think they have absolutely know control of their thoughts. Nothing could be farther from the truth! The apostle Paul instructed the Phillipian church members to ” fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure , lovely and admirable. He wouldn’ t have asked them to do it –if it wasn’t possible! 

3) Want to shake off those depressing blues? Begin to worship God. Pray. Sing. Lift your hands to him as a sacrifice of praise. You may not feel like it , but isn’t that the point? We can never trust our feelings! We are not to live by feelings -we are to live by faith. The Bible says that God ” inhabits the praises of his people” . Simply put–when we worship…God shows up! Nothing will crush a spirit of depression faster than the Spirit of God invading your situation.

4) Last but certainly not least: Don’t worry-be happy! I know that sound cliche ,but that is exactly what God’s word instructs us to do. Phillipians 4:6-7 says ” don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.”

Hopefully these simply truths will help lift you out of your depression and help you de-compress and find rest in the Lord your God.

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