Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Depression - Sin or Circumstance

If you have been following this post and reading the commentaries, then I wanted to explain. Apparently, this post has been highly offensive to at least one person, so my guess is that it is probably offensive to more. Regardless of my beliefs, I am aware that Paul has told us not to offend our brothers for the sake of our freedoms. Consequently, I have decided to remove this post. My deepest apologies if I offended anyone else, and especially to the gentleman who has chosen to remain anonymous. God knows who he is, and I pray that this removal brings him some degree of peace. I have left the comments so as not to dishonor him further.  God bless all of you.  Sue

P.S. If anyone would like the full text, please e-mail me, and I would be happy to forward it to you.

Deleted July 31, 2010 2:10pm


At August 23, 2005 10:17 AM, Blogger FreeInHim94 said...

"Matthew 12:29 How can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? Ok, here it is. You see the circumstance in your life as the Strong Man, but it isn't. The real enemy is your reaction to your circumstance. You need to bind that strong man...Let's break the above three sins down: PRIDE: Pride doesn't only say "I'm better than you." It also says "I deserve fill-in-the-blank." I deserve a happy childhood. I deserve loving, protective parents. I deserve children who love me and respect me. I deserve that promotion. I deserve yada-yada-yada. I have rights. Or "I didn't deserve this or that." God never promised us those things. He promised that when we face difficulties, he'll be there to comfort us (2 Cor. 4). He promised us trials and difficulties and persecutions (1 Pet 4:12-13). To say "I do or don't deserve this," says that my life is all about me and my comfort and my happiness. God says that's not so. Our lives are all about Him. To make it about us is the sin of Pride. "

This is my favorite part of the post. Truly pride is the root of all sin and we do make whatever our current circumstance or trial is the “strong man” in our lives...the biggest thing...even bigger than God.

The only other thing I would add to this is: because God is sovereign everything that happens in our lives... E V E R Y T H I N G...is either caused or allowed by Him.

That is a hard one to swallow but it has to be true or God isn't God.

Therefore, His response to us in the midst of trials is not merely reactionary because He loves us, but purposeful and active from beginning to end. He is not only walking along with us, He designed and paved the road we're on. The circumstance, our response, His encouragement or correction, how the whole thing plays out, AND, (as you say later in the post) how others are effected by our response and what it says about our God, is all VERY purposeful. God is a God of details...just look at all those lists and measurements and genealogies in the bible! He cares about the minutiae...about each of the steps along the way...and as you say, He cares about our total response - both our heart attitude and the steps we take (or don't take) in obedience.

It is almost too much to wrap your mind around ... at least for me! But knowing this, having this theology and truth from scripture has done so much to help me submit my emotions to Him, take my thoughts captive and trust Him and His ways no matter what my life looks like. It isn't easy and didn't happen over night, but praise God it did. He did it. He led me into deeper fellowship with Him, gave me practice runs in applying His truth to my life and walking in what He was teaching me and He gives me the grace to choose His way, His truth when things get hard.

Goodness, this is getting to be a long comment! But this is a topic that is so important to me...I literally could go on and on. But I won't. I'll say one last thing and close.

Had I not first been purposing to abide in the Lord, to dig into the word, to make His truth part of my daily life, I would never have been able to apply it when things got bad. I would have been overtaken. That is not to say that everyone who suffers from depression doesn't spend time with the Lord - I don't believe that is true. What I do believe is that the tendency is to not apply the truth the same when the emotions are raging and that is something the Lord can help each of us cultivate in the daily so that we are not so unprepared when trials or tragedies come.

Thanks for a wonderful post!


At August 23, 2005 1:17 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Tina - God bless your testimony of support. Nothing says it better than experience - bad, and then good with God. People will grow from your testimony more than they will my words. Thanks again, and God Bless! Sue

At August 23, 2005 4:01 PM, Blogger carebear said...

The spirit of God writes through you! You speak powerful truths that sits right with me. When I was depressed in our first years of marriage, Joe was worried that he'd come home from work with an empty pill bottle on the floor next to me...it was severe.....but it was all those things that you said in your post! SIN!!! I was DESPERATE for answers! I wanted freedom, but I didn't have the TEACHING AROUND ME to learn how to overcome. i thought it was in some prayer that was yelled, or stomping of feet, or a bunch of tears (maybe if I cried long and loud enough, the demons would go away!) Yeah right....
I pray that I can be a light to those in depression just as you have. You have the gift of teaching (I think) I love how the scripture is all throughout your teachings. It is our only light to our path!!!
I wish I could meet you! We'd have sooo much to talk about. I can just picture us in a coffee house for hours and hours talking about the greatness of God..... if not in this life, in heaven I'll find you and we'll do that k???

At August 23, 2005 4:12 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Carebear - God bless you for your testimony. It's people like you and Tina that will change people's hearts. People are moved by other people's success stories of how they were able to use the Word of God to change their lives. That gives them faith and trust. I love your courage to share what's going on with you, and I know God is working through you every bit as much as He does me. And yes, mine is primarily the gift of teaching (with a dash of preaching thrown in :-) , and I am so thrilled to be able to use His gift to me in this forum. I believe that we are never so joy-filled as when we are serving the Lord with the gifts He has given us, and this blog is one of my biggest delights. God bless all of you who listen and learn His Word ... And concerning our time together, I would love it in this life or the next. And don't forget e-mail!


At May 25, 2008 4:02 PM, Blogger frances said...

Thank you for your article. I appreciate the explanation you gave it is the first time I heard it from this perspective. I have a fear that this is where i stand in my life. I have struggled with Bi-polar for years. I love to hear the Word preached and I can understand it and agree with it and believe it, yet I sense I do not have God's Spirit in me.

At September 08, 2008 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Children who spent hours in front of the television are not always jolly, lively, and happy. They apart from developing a dislike towards their neighbouring environment and suspiciousness also run the risk of falling into depression. Studies have also shown that most of the children watch the television out of insecurity and a mental disturbance also. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

At December 08, 2008 9:49 AM, Blogger deborah said...

thank you sue for breaking this down so thee average person may understand exactly what the scripts are really meaning...merry christmas!

deborah :)

At January 26, 2009 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely a complete fool for insinuating that people who have little or no depression therefore are that way because their faith is stronger and there is less sin in their lives.

Churches are filled with false and misguided Christians like you and that's why I refuse to have anything to do with them.

You are despicable!!!

At January 26, 2009 11:10 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Hello Anonymous, My first reaction to your comment is to ask for your forgiveness. I believe you have misunderstood the essence of my article, but a much bigger issue to me is that you have clearly been offended by one or more Christians, or possibly a church, and since they are my brothers and sisters, I would like to ask your forgiveness on behalf of my family. The Christian church is made up of flawed people, like me, and we often make mistakes, sometimes from misguided zeal, and people get hurt. I am so sorry if you were one of them. Please don't blame Jesus. Put the blame squarely where it belongs - on the shoulders of us weak, often selfish, and error prone humans. Jesus loves you more than his own life and wants you to join the family. Please forgive us for hurting you, and open your heart to God. Truly, may God bless you. Sue

At May 06, 2009 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Sue~

I hope you are well!

I wanted to say (and to ask your advice, please, which I would greatly appreciate) that I do understand what you have written here. However, what about depression in a VERY SMALL CHILD??? I'm not referring to a child whom is abused or anything of that nature, but whom, from at least the age of seven, has suffered crippling depression that NOTHING would 'cure'. This child was me. I was born into a loving Christian home, and I was BORN with depression. I remember crying at the back of my school classroom, and the teacher was trying to figure out what was wrong. But I had nothing to tell her. Why? Because there WAS no worldly 'cause'!!! There WAS nothing to link to it -- CERTAINLY not SIN, such as PRIDE, etc, etc! I REMEMBER those days. I remember what I felt, as if it were yesterday, sitting on that teacher's lap in tears. I was not WANTING anything, or complaining, or feeling like I wasn't getting a thing I 'deserved'. I FELT complete EMPTINESS inside. It hurt. And I didn't even know how to describe it.

This, what I had THEN, and what I STILL have -- and yes, it has been WORSENED by circumstances, and doubtless too, sins of pride and envy, etc -- is what I call a state of PURE depression. Such as this cannot be controlled by the person. If an innocent child in a loving family, and with friends, can suffer such a depression as this, and cannot get out of it, this just goes to show the reality of it, and that it is not always having to do with our 'countenance'. I was NOT able to get out of it then. I have NEVER as of yet been able to get out of it. I have had it ALL MY LIFE, and I am almost 40. And I do believe in God. And when I did sin, it was generally out of ignorance or pain/stress, but NEVER was it out of the sheer will to sin!

What is difficult about depression is that, I mean, how do you change when you cannot even take care of yourself? If you cannot leave the house, what can you do? Yes, you can pray to God and such-forth. But you can ONLY do what HE renders you ABLE to do. Is this not so? I mean, if I could not beat the depression as a child, and still cannot, then what MORE can I DO??? Please give your advice on this sort of depression. I saw a therapist for 10 years. I was on all the medications, and they didn't work. I want to be a good person and do more (for God, not selfish reasons -- I don't want to do anything wrong!) but I HAVE to be able to function!

Thank you!

PS: I'm eligible for TCMST (trans-cranial magnetic stimulation therapy) but have not been able to leave the house for the longest time, due to my depression, but I also have a post traumatic sleep disorder that gives me involuntary muscle movements that wake me up all night long, and for this reason, I am taking Clonasepam, which makes me very very tired. (In addition, I had major surgery a few years ago and am missing most of my gluteous maximus muscle as a result; I had a fibro-matosis tumor. This worsens my depression because it affects my ability to wear clothing, and it hurts when I walk for long, as I also have nerve damage and my back and foot joints get very sore.)

Best Wishes & God Bless~

At May 06, 2009 5:17 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Wow, Dianne, that all sounds horrible! I can't even imagine what life is like for you, and it's a testimony to your strength to be able to function at all, let alone normally. God bless you for your determination. You are the reason I love the mental health profession. People like you, who have been through so much, and here you are again, refusing to give up and refusing to surrender. I'm honored that you've written me.

My first reaction is that you have a very serious form of genetic depression. I'm not a doctor, so this isn't a diagnosis, but it sounds like you've tried everything except the TCMST. My understanding of that is that it really works. I would say, muster all of the energy you can and get there and get that done. I've seen (on TV, not in my practice), phenomenal results when nothing else helped. I know how awful it is for you to motivate yourself to do anything, but don't skip this step. Also ask them about the Repetative version (rTMS).

Another thought you are going to think is absolutely crazy is, get out there and get involved in church ministries. I have found that when people put their own needs (which include their depression) to the side, they just feel better, have more energy, do more work, and feel better still. It becomes a snowball and feeds itself. It will seem almost impossible at first, but if you force yourself to stick with it, I think it will help you feel better because you'll see that your life has purpose outside of feeling miserable.

I hope this all helps. If you would like to discuss this further and would rather not do it publicly, please feel free to contact me at the address above.

At October 19, 2009 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm a beginner and don't really understand. I loved this article, it was so informative and it made me spring back to life at some point. But about lust... it means to want. So is it lust if I really really WANT to learn to love God and to love someone?

At October 19, 2009 5:14 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Not a stupid question at all. I've heard the same question many times from people who's judgment I honor and trust. You can want and 'lust' after anything God says it's okay to lust after. Certainly, wanting a deeper relationship with Him is right in line with His wants, so 'lust' away. To lust after someone to love is a slightly different answer, but remember Psalms says "God will give you the desires of your heart." We often see that as God being a giant sugar-daddy with a big checkbook, or Santa Clause ready to grant our every wish. The reality is that God gives us the desire itself. If you are delighting yourself in the Lord, then God will intervene in your heart, and plant desires there. That's not to say that everything you desire is from God, but to the degree you are delighting yourself solely in the Lord rather than setting your own agenda, then you give Him permission to plant desires, which will then become your guides for what you pursue in life. If it's truly a desire planted by God, then He will absolutely make it happen. You might not like God's timing, but you can count on His faithfulness. If you feel like you've had a desire for a very long time and it hasn't been fulfilled, then go back to God and ask Him to either fulfill your desire, change your heart so it is no longer a desire, or if the desire is from Him, to give you the patience to continue to wait. Waiting on God is one of the ways He draws us close to Him. Continue to pray, but surrender your desires to Him, and trust Him.

That may be more information than you wanted, but does that help? Please feel free to post any questions of followup comments, or you can e-mail me directly at sue@opnhrt.com


At June 09, 2010 4:58 AM, Anonymous Depression preventions said...

Depression is not a curable disease. Its your will power that can killer depression.

At July 09, 2010 4:13 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I know we won't all agree, but again, I pray that God will heal you of your pain, as I do all who suffer. Blessings, Sue

At July 10, 2010 9:51 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I have to tell you, I'm not terribly comfortable doing this in public view. This stuff is extremely personal, and I have a lot to say, but I'd really rather not say it in this forum. Would it be possible for you to e-mail me? You could even get an e-mail address you'll throw away after we're done. I sure would like to respond, but I'm just not comfortable doing so here. I am very willing to hear your arguments against my position, but I can't just change it because you told me to.

At July 17, 2010 11:51 AM, Anonymous MKG said...

Dear Anonymous,
I have read your rants. You are one of the angriest people I have ever read on any blog on any topic.

If you act in person the way you talk on this board, there is very little chance anyone would want to be around you.

Are you telling me that every member of every church you walk in, the members all turn around and look down on you?

If you automatically believe everyone is going to treat you that way, then you act that way so that you will at least make your self-fulfilled prophecy come true.

Even if you feel awful, try to put on a little bit of a positive face, and don't try to bring down others towards your level of depression.

There are people who do care, but they know the difference of those who want to get better and those who just want to spread misery.

Can you think of anyone worse off than you that maybe has a better attitude? What do you suppose helps them through their tough life or have you even thought past your own feelings enough to notice?

At July 17, 2010 1:04 PM, Anonymous mkg said...

No, depression is not an indication of how much sin is in someone's life. Hormones can take over the body and make us feel horrible.

What is autism? I don't know, but little kids get it and they seem unable to communicate with people and seem empty on the inside. These are kids who can't understand God yet. They have to wear helmets to protect themselves from bashing their heads into the wall. I don't understand why God allows these things to happen, but there is a plan and we are not capable of understanding it.

I wondered until recently if God knew Lucifer was going to fall, why did he create him? An answer FINALLY came to me and I have been asking this question for a long time. I have been having problems with faith because of it.

But finally it dawned on me that we can't have everything perfect in our lives and appreciate God and know that He loves us. That is what caused Lucifer to fall.

We had something bad (dark) come into our world, Satan and sin. Knowing this, we can appreciate the good (light)and help others who are going through rough times. There is a balance in everything. God wants us to trust Him to help us through the hard times. He wants us to choose good over evil, light over darkness.

But Satan cheats and wants a lot of company with his own misery. God gives us a choice who to pick. Sometimes we get angry if God doesn't answer our prayers. But God knows his plan and He won't change His mind or His plan. That is why we don't have the answer we want to our prayers much of the time. God knows best and sees the entire picture. It is perfect and everything will make sense to us when Christ can tell us face to face. I have had a horrible struggle with faith. I am extremely good at catching liars and debunking things that don't make sense. It has been hard on me to believe in God. But if we keep asking Him questions, read the Bible, listen to other Christians, God will show us His ways and they will make sense. It is a very long process, or it has been for me and I still have issues. I think about God all the time and I do not want to be near that nasty Satan. Satan is bringing anger into everyone's lives and He is loving it. He still thinks he can win over God, but he can't.

At July 17, 2010 1:15 PM, Anonymous MKG said...

Think of a person who wants to do all he can to bring the good news of salvation to all the people he can.

Some people may have seen these people preaching outside of rock concerts or bars, etc. If anyone thinks they are looked down on because they have depression, ask these people who are putting up their very lives and reputation to try to reach someone. They get looked down on and even spit on, if not worse. But they do it because they know Christ has to have somebody working for Him. Look how many people don't work for Christ.

At September 30, 2010 9:26 PM, Blogger anonymousch said...


You would be angry too once you as a depressed person:

1) realized it's primarily a medical condition

2) come to the conclusion that having a church put
the onus on you like depression is all your fault
is plenty reason never to be involved in that church,
since you can be far happier out of church on a bad
day, then the best day you will ever have in a church
that teaches that lie

3) constantly hear the reinforcement of pretend
therapists like Sue who will tell you quite
unashamedly that depression is the result of sin
or can be the result of sin or is in someway
connected to sin

This blog basically has to stop promoting that
last part for me to stop my posts. Once Sue comes
around and says flat out there is no connection
between depression and sin and starts to underline
that and show why it's dangerous to teach people
to believe that, there will be no reason for me
to be here anymore.

I'm in this for the long haul.

From time to time, maybe a day, maybe a month.

I'll be around whenever it suits me and whenever
I feel the need to counter the lies she's teaching.

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