Framed: Depression & Suicide
Depression knows no boundaries. It rages in every corner of the world, and is one of our major medical epidemics. Unfortunately, too many individuals in the church suffer with depression in silence, believing that they should be able to "do more" to get out of the rut that they are in. Thankfully, we see throughout the Bible that many heroes of our faith also dealt with depression:
1. Moses - Numbers 11:10-15
2. Elijah - 1 Kings 19:2-4
3. David - Psalm 55:4-8, (and MANY others)
10. Jesus - John 12:27, Matthew 26, Luke 22
Other heroes of our faith that struggle with depression: Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Sir Isaac Newton, Florence Nightingale, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, Barbara Bush, Buzz Aldrin...
Sometimes, people believe the lie that suicide is the only option for them. Suicide is never a good choice. It is not God's plan because He is for life. That said, if someone has given their life to Jesus for salvation, then nothing can separate us from God. We have eternal security.
Unfortunately, too many of us "buy-in" to the prosperity gospel which says for us to pray harder and believe more. This leads to these 3 false beliefs:
1. Depression (and its relatives) are spiritual so just have more faith.
2. Depression and suicide are symptoms of unbelief
3. Because of the spiritual nature of depression, science has nothing to offer.
Here is a correct view through the lens of the gospel:
1. Trinitarian Theology - We are body, mind, and spirit; and they are all related. Each must be cared for without demonizing the others.
2. A Redemptive Theology - We see Jesus working through faith and reason. This is a theology that believes science and the absolutes that God created.
3. Incarnational Theology - We believe Jesus came and dwelt among us. He understands what we are going through, and He accepts us as we are.
To Discuss Today:
1. What is the difference between sadness and depression?
2. What should you do when you are feeling despair? Why is being open about it so hard?
3. How does the "prosperity gospel" view of depression hurt The Gospel?