Pastor Luke Italiano is authoring a helpful series on depression and the Christian on the blog Bread for Beggars. We offer this abridged version of one article with the encouragement you read them all. Tap here for the currnet list of Italiano's posts.
Depression is not a sin.
Sorrow is not a transgression. Feeling down is not evil. Depression is an effect of sin. It is the result of living in a world broken away from God so that even the chemicals in our own brains often conspire against us. All creation groans under the weight, and our own minds are part of that creation.
Jesus himself was familiar with sorrow. We know that there is no sin in Jesus. I don’t think it’s a leap outside of Scripture to then say that sorrow is not a sin.
Depression can lead to sin
However, depression can lead to sin.
For some, it leads to a rejection of trusting God’s promises. A friend of mine who struggled with depression said he hated God. He knew that Jesus had promised trouble, and he was tired of the trouble he had. He was convinced that only bad things would happen until he was brought to heaven, solely by grace. His depression led him to claim that God connived to make his life terrible.
God’s love hurts
In depression, the love of God initially hurts. The lies our hearts tell us lead us to say, “He shouldn’t!” and we rush from that love.
“I am not good enough” repeats over and over again. And when that voice screams, “If you were good enough…” saying that God loves you feels like getting a consolation prize. It’s not a good feeling. It only reminds you of how you are not worthy. Depression has led to the sins of despising God’s undeserved love and devaluing the self.
And yet that love is exactly what the person with depression needs.
Jesus knows me
One picture that continues to break my stony heart goes like this: Jesus knew me. He knew the secrets. He knew those things I have never told anyone else. Those things that I know would destroy my ministry, my family, my life. Jesus knew all those things. He didn’t gloss over them. He looked at them oh so very carefully. And then he said, “I choose to love you. I choose to die for you.”
For this reason, one of my favorite verses remains, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
While I still believe the lies of my depression, Christ loves me. While I still tell God he is a liar, he loves me. While I think I am nothing, Jesus transforms me and makes me something. Here is grace that breaks my heart.
Overcoming the lies
How do you overcome those lies?
Someone broken by depression needs love. [They need the reassurance,] we are not forgiven when we confess. Jesus died for our sins two thousand years ago. It is finished. Rejecting his forgiveness damns. Just because someone has committed suicide does not mean a person is sentenced to hell. Christians may be sinning when they die. Our hope for heaven is not based on our confession. It is based on what Jesus has done in reality. He has died for us. Period.
Source: Depression is not a sin