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  • Writer's pictureIan Ferguson

Who made them judges?

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Sadly many Christians make judgments that are unkind, unfair, and simply wrong when they are trying to help Christians who suffer from depression.

Yes, I have come across those who tell you that the reason for your poor mental health is that you have committed some great unforgivable sin or that a demon has taken residence.

The vast majority of those Christian who suffer depression do not do so as a result of any of those glib judgments. Yes we live in a fallen world and we all suffer some of the consequences of our sinful nature, but please stop throwing brutal judgments on the already broken people who are facing such dark and demoralizing experiences of mental health.

Many of the great church leaders of old and some who are leaders today have or are suffering from such conditions as acute anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Here are a few well known Christian leaders who had depression- CS Lewis, Charles

Spurgeon, Martin Luther; John Calvin; John Wesley; Handel; Sir Isaac Newton; Charles Spurgeon; Pope Francis; Florence Nightingale.

Mother Theresa said "I want to smile even at Jesus and so hide if possible the pain and the darkness of my soul even from Him.” and later she writes

“With regard to the feeling of loneliness, of abandonment, of not being wanted, of the darkness of the soul, it is a state well known by spiritual writers and directors of conscience. This is willed by God in order to attach us to Him alone, an antidote to our external activities, and also, like temptation, a way of keeping us humble in the midst of applause, publicity, praises, appreciation, etc. and success.”

Joyce Meyer, a well-known charismatic Christian leader, and conference speaker shared her experience as a child when she was abused. This made a huge impact on her emotional and mental development enormously and led to her depression. In her article “Is it Really Possible to Beat Depression?” she said:

“I know what it’s like to be depressed. For many years I was unstable emotionally because of abuse that I experienced during most of my childhood. It caused me to be negative, critical, and easily discouraged. I used to believe that it was better not to expect anything good to happen to me because if nothing good happened, I wouldn’t be disappointed. But I was still miserable and had no peace.”

In the Christian magazine SPAG, it says

"For each of us who suffer depression or other mental illnesses, our journey and our experiences may be different, but we are bonded together in a unified Christian experience.

We aren’t alone in our suffering. The similarities of our anguish, the deep depths of our depressions, the struggles of our condition, the unanswered, perplexing questions, and even at times, silence from God show us by their similarity that God has found a way to stretch us and shape us, even sometimes agonizingly, but purposefully into something more than we were before"

Again SPAG magazine makes a great point when it says

"If you’ve ever suffered depression, it may ease your burden to know that profound Christian thinkers, passionate champions of the persecuted and down-trodden, God-inspired prophets, and those who reached great pinnacles of wisdom and strength in their Christian walk, have shared the trials and torments of depression with us"

Who would accuse a Christian who suffers from a viral condition, cancer, or whatever illness and say that somehow the cause lay in personal sin or lack of faith? Well, I know there are some !!!

Those who suffer from acute anxiety or clinical depression do not need guilt heaped upon them but rather much kindness and understanding, and compassion.

If you are a Christian leader do not be ashamed or embarrassed if you suffer from depression.

It is nothing to be embarrassed about.

However, don't suffer on your own.

Know that God is a loving compassionate Father and is on your side.

It may well be that you are finding prayer a difficult thing to engage in and you would not be alone in that for many leaders struggle in this area, especially if they have poor mental health.

Maybe your tears have been your prayer. Well, those are powerful prayers because God sees your tears and is near to the broken.

Black Dog Collar Pastor is here for YOU!


(to be continued)

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I tried to run away, to escape the darkness, the messed-up mind and raging thoughts Useless Broken Sinking into that deep dark pit of despair. Where did it come from? How did I end up here? With fear


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