"But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." - (1 John 1:7 NLT)
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
How do you define yourself?
Too often, many of us define ourselves by what we see and feel instead of defining ourselves by what our life truly revolves around, faith in Jesus, the light of the world. We build our self-view around negative feelings of worthlessness. Ever had that experience? When we do that, we tend to begin throwing up barriers called defenses to protect ourselves from predicted hurt and rejection from others. Most people with depression do this by isolating themselves from others, either physically or emotionally or both.
CONSIDER THIS . . .
Depression is almost always accompanied by fear and its by-product, anger. We fear that our personal failures and inadequacies will be exposed and that shame and humiliation will soon follow. The pressure of this fear leaves us in a state of perpetual stress. Our thoughts race at night when we try to sleep. Angry thoughts fill our mind. Anxiety and dread fill our heart, and every fibre of our being screams out to isolate in order to avoid the hurt that would surely come if anyone gets to know the real us.
Does that work? In a sense, yes. When we do not relate to others, they do not hurt us. But the downside is that isolation leads to loneliness and a lack of fulfillment in our life. So we fall into a pattern as we try to protect ourselves: fear of shame > stress > anger > anxiety > isolation.
So what is a better way? Today's scripture says if we live in the light, as God is in the light, then we will fellowship with each other. When we have life failures, if we confess our sin, Jesus will forgive. God wants us to remember he loves us unconditionally and he has given us others to share our joys and sorrows. Don't hide from him . . . or them.
Father, forgive me for the fear and anger that have grown in me. Help me get my eyes back on Jesus. Help me remember I am your child and have nothing to fear. Help me be willing to share life with others instead of isolating myself. In Jesus' name . . .
THESE THOUGHTS WERE DRAWN FROM . . .
This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
• Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
• Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
• Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer, and mutual support
• Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
• Bible-based coping skills
• How to pray for healing and what to expect
• Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ
PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to info@LivingFree.org.