Depression Is Not A Fruit Of The Spirit

Depression Is Not A Fruit Of The Spirit!

Any time I mention depression people seem to come out of the woodwork to tell me how wrong I am and how I have no right to judge others.

It’s funny though, when you see me post a status on Facebook or Twitter I’m not judging anyone.

I’m speaking from my own personal experience.

My struggle with depression

I struggled with depression for just shy of a decade when I was younger.

It really is the grace of God that brought me through that season and out the other side where I can say that today the joy of the Lord truly is my strength!

But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a battle.

In fact my journey to freedom was an intense struggle in many ways to be honest.

It required me every day to make good decisions and choose not to give into my default patterns.

Patterns that I had burned into my brain for over almost a decade!

Not only that but whether or not your depression comes from a chemical imbalance to begin with, being depressed causes a chemical imbalance.

So if you aren’t imbalanced to begin with, living in a state of depression causes you to become chemically imbalanced. And if you are, well, it certainly doesn’t help things!

It creates a chicken or the egg scenario, a downward spiral of doom and gloom!

Even as I was getting better and was almost completely free, there were many days I couldn’t make good choices and see things from a heavenly perspective. There were days where I couldn’t hear from God at all!

Those where the days I had to get out of my head and get around other people who could see things more clearly than I could!

But I did find freedom from this life.

Why am I saying all this?

Because I want you to know, when I talk about depression on the blog, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else it’s not to try piss off depressed people.

I’m not trying to be insensitive.

I’m not trying to shame you for being depressed.

I simply want people to be free.

My heart is to give you hope! There is another way of doing life.

Depression is not part of God’s plan for your life.

Depression is not a fruit of the Spirit! The abundant life that God wants to bring you into does not contain depression, it’s fruit is joy!

Embracing the journey

There’s no shame in the journey, it took me 10 years to get free and truth be told I still have my days when I don’t feel like dancing around and screaming from the top of the rooftops about how great life is.

Even over the last 8 months in the process of Sarah leaving me I often saw that all to familiar depression peak it’s head around the doorframe looking for an invitation to come and hang out.

Just ask my friends – they will all tell you I frequently called them up and demanded to hang out just so I could get out my own head! (I love you guys!!)

There were even a few days at the worst of it all where I succumbed and just kicked back with depression.

Was it a good idea? Nope.

Did it help? Nope.

Did I know that would be the case before hand? Yup!

So why did I do it?

Truth be told, there is a weird thing that goes on for many of us who have had or still have depression.

(This isn’t true of everyone but it is true of many and it was for me!)

I liked the wallowing, the feeling sorry for myself, the pity party I threw for myself for almost 10 years of my life.

It was a truly disturbing love/hate relationship.

I hated being depressed and maybe even more so I hated myself for being depressed. But despite that, embracing the lifestyle that only made the depression worse made me feel in some ways better able to cope.

The human brain is a fickle thing and will lie to you to get that quick temporary fix.

Did you know that those who quit smoking/drugs/alcohol etc. usually overcome the physical addiction in just a few weeks?

The primary issue is the mental addiction.

We trick ourselves with the memory of how good things feel. We even have burned into our neural highways a known fix for when faced with our fears, hurts, rejection or any other terrible things that come our way.

But despite that battle. There is a reason to fight it.

Because life on the other side is so much better!

We fight battles to win them. And the beauty of this battle is that there is only one outcome with God on our side.

He can and will see you through this.

Don’t beat yourself up for falling over, for struggling, for not being the best you today.

Instead know this, there is a better you that God is uncovering.

And that uncovering starts with you believing that is what God wants for you!

God doesn’t want you to remain in your depression.

Go to God with your hurts and pains.

Deal with the root issues of your depression – whatever they may be!

Just as joy is a fruit of the spirit, depression is often a fruit of not dealing with our hurts and pains in an effective manner.

Now hear me right – I know people have physical issues, such as chemical imbalances etc. that cause their depression but guess what… in my Bible Jesus specialised in healing physical issues just as much as anything else! So don’t let that hold you back!

There is never a reason to make depression bigger than Jesus!

Get help, see a doctor, see a psychiatrist, get on medicine if you need help taking control of your thought life.

But whatever you do – don’t give up!

There is a better future out there for you and God isn’t standing there waiting for you to arrive.

He’s walking with you today towards that future – and He has all the time in the world so don’t put expectations upon yourself that He isn’t!

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Phil,
    My dear sister in Christ gave me your daily devotional book renewing your mind and it is teaching me so much. I have been struggling with depression for over ten years. I have gone through a lot. As you described I did not have a chemical imbalance but now I know I do. My short version is my husband left me after 25 years of marriage. We had a business that we built together and in the end, he cheated, lied and stole everything! I have done everything to get through to the other side. I have been a child of God since I was a young girl, I remember that moment as the sweetest moment of my life. Abba has never abandoned me, praise Him for His amazing grace. My problem is I am there but not breaking through. I am so close and I just don’t know what else I can do. The war is in my head and I give it over and over to God! I talk it over, Imstay focused on God I pray, read, journal, what am I missing? And you are right I hate myself for being depressed and not being joyful. I have come a long way but for every day I do well I have another day that is not so well. My Doctor thinks I am amazing, no one cares if you are hurting, they don’t want to hear it and after 10″years they really don’t want to hear it. So now I keep it between me and the Lord alone, and that is working. Sometimes it is hard not to have a person to listen or maybe validate me. Can you give me any advice that can give me another direction or another tool to access. I keep telling the Lord that I am ready.
    Thank you for your daily words of encouragement I receive on face book. And I love the amazing truths I am getting from your book. You are already a brother and teacher. Thank you, Lois

  2. This word was for me today and it was helpful as you said, for hope and encouragement just to hear from someone that they made it to to other side. I know I am in process and God is there loving me and walking with me but it is just nice to hear someone say they were there and for a while and are now on the other side. I love your posts, they are very encouraging, but thisone I needed to comment on. thank you.

  3. There’s a difference between struggling with depression and suffering with depression. For some; the struggle may not be a choice, but the suffering is.

  4. hi Phil, i noticed that depression seems to be the new touchy subject in the Church.

    If you dare to say anything the depression Pharisees come out in force to force you to retract your statements, or accuse you of saying they have no faith, empathy or understanding.

    It’s so very easy to remain a victim with depression and gives people an excuse to remain as they are.

    I too know what it’s like to bump along the bottom of the barrel. But i learned in God, how to come out of it.

    Thanks for your courage in publishing this article.

    Peter.

  5. Cheers, mate! You do encourage me and many other people. Things you spoke about are things that I would relate to when I went through my depression. I also can look back to it with the same view. And I sometimes find myself in the ditch again, shorltlived, thankfully. Me learning the unconditonal love of God was one of the milestones, and… second chances… Voila!

  6. What if we are unable to deal with our depression? Mine is partly due to an abusive childhood and partly the result of current medical issues. I am unemployed and cannot afford the long term help needed to deal with my childhood and my health is gradually deteriorating, so not much hope there either. I trust in Jesus as much as I can and try to keep my eyes fixed on him rather than my problems but there are still times when I find it difficult to be joyful, although it is getting easier.

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