Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Table of Contents
- THERE IS NO SHAME if you struggle with depression.
- NO ONE IS MENTALLY HEALTHY ALL THE TIME
- BUT SOME THINGS MAY HAVE TO CHANGE
- SHAME OFF YOU. GRACE ON YOU.
THERE IS NO SHAME if you struggle with depression.
There is no shame if you struggle with depression. Some people in Christian circles would suggest you should feel guilty about your depression.
Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
They are quick to judge and quick to condemn. These people have never experienced depression, so they simply don’t believe it’s a real illness. Or they pridefully think they would never succumb to it.
I would kindly suggest that a person who doesn’t understand depression or anxiety is a person who does not allow themselves to feel very deeply.Tweet
These same people would never suggest that PTSD is shameful. But, much like victims of PTSD, people who suffer from depression or anxiety often have a traumatic history as well. When it happens at a young age, our brains are almost hardwired to react to life stressors with impaired mental abilities. Even if you are not the actual victim, the stress of family violence has an impact.
woman caught in adultery
Jesus did not shame the woman caught in adultery ( )any more than He did the men. They were both at fault, but you notice His harshest words were for those who had abused her and heaped shame on her. Jesus saw them as the instigators.
Because they were laying their own shame on her. They were acting as though they had done nothing wrong, much like the Pharisees. They were hypocrites, and if there was one attribute Jesus addressed more often than others, it was hypocrisy.
NO ONE IS MENTALLY HEALTHY ALL THE TIME
The people who criticize those with depression have their issues as well. We all do. The difference? No one knows about them because they are clean on the outside. Isn’t that what Jesus said about the Pharisees? “You are clean on the outside only” (Matthew 23:25). If you have run into Christians who belittled or made you feel shame for being depressed, listen to me.
Can you think of a single verse that suggests God is ashamed of you when you are sick? You can’t, because there aren’t any. Your depression and your anxiety are illnesses as well. However, just like the majority of medical illnesses, there are things you can do to be healed.
BUT SOME THINGS MAY HAVE TO CHANGE
Are there some behaviors in your life that will need to change? Probably.
But, praise God, He loves us in our weakness just like He loves us in our strength. You don’t have to hang your head in shame.
I love what John Lockley writes in A Practical Guidebook for the Depressed Christian, “Being depressed is bad enough by itself, but being a depressed Christian is a special kind of hell.”
SHAME OFF YOU. GRACE ON YOU.
I came across a wonderful saying the other day. I don’t know its origin. “Shame off you. Grace on you.” Isn’t that wonderful? Depression is hard enough without adding unneeded shame to the mix. And by the way, it’s quite possible to be in the center of God’s will while also being in the center of the storm of depression. Being depressed doesn’t necessarily mean you are outside God’s will any more than a broken leg does.
Ignore those armchair doctors. It’s amazing how many people would never think to add their two cents about someone’s medical diagnosis, but are experts when it comes to depression.
When you are better, if the occasion arises, you can educate them a little.
GOD LOVES YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR DEPRESSION
Until then, remind yourself of how much God loves you right now—right in the middle of your depression. Throw off any shame you might feel.
Have you encountered people who have shamed you because of your depression?
How can you handle it in the future?
God bless and have a great day.