Many times than often, the church teaches us to be strong in Christ, prayerful, have more faith and have a deeper work with Christ. They neglect to help kill the individualism syndrome – which is the bedrock of depression. For someone who’s already feels guilt-stricken about life, hounding the individual to pray more, have more faith or read the bible more does not immediately help lift the burden.
Am I trying to undermine the efficacy of any of these activities? No! Sometimes, we have to look beyond spiritualism to understand what is going on with the victim. It’s not their faith, they are just sick. The sticky question many Christian struggles with is: ”Is depression a sin?” Why we struggle to answer the question or rebuke those who are depressed into keeping quiet, the fold has lost so many folks to depression.
Imagine a world of darkness
In this world, you are surrounded by gloom, you are deprived of the colour, the beauty, the gracefulness of everything around you. You have spent every day crouched against a rough stone wall, surrounded by the sound of a milling crowd. That’s a little of how Temi felt.
Temi had always been a happy lady. She was one of those church leaders everyone looked to for support and direction. The backbone of her church, family and community. Temi had answers to every question. She had a way with words. Temi knew the right words and act that could cause a sad face to smile. She was everything sweet until in one fell swoop she was blindsided by a tragedy that questioned her core.
She lost her first born son in a pool accident. He had gone to fellowship in a friends house, he slipped into the pool and drowned. That singular incident changed Temi’s life. Everyday was devoid of joy. No matter how desperate she was to raise above the fray, she just could not. Her son went to serve God and died in the process.
Temi believed that if she prayed hard enough, read her bible longer and confessed her sins more. She would feel better, happier and less heavy. “What did I ever do to deserve a life of misery? where did I go wrong?” These were unanswered questions she struggled with everyday. In her pain and confusion, many Christians still nagged her about her inadequacies with the things of God and her distance from the church.
Until you walk their walk, you might never understand how a person really feels. The best thing is to reduce the subtle accusation and tackle the situation as it should. Most times, depression is not caused by spiritual problems. Depression is an illness. It is a disease with a physical basis. In such state, a depressed person needs physical, spiritual and emotional help, and not the burden to bear it alone because s/he is a Christian.