Before we can deal with depression we have to understand where it comes from. We do this by looking at the dichotomy of man.
The Bible says that man is made up of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Man looks like this:
At the center of man is his soul. His soul consists of mind, will and emotions.
Before the fall, man communicated in two realms— the physical realm and the spiritual realm.
The SOUL of man used it’s PHYSICAL BODY to communicate with other men in the physical realm. The SOUL of man used it’s HEAVENLY BODY (spirit) to communicate with God in the spiritual realm.
There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.
1 Corinthians 15:40
The following illustration shows how man’s soul and spirit were LINKED so that he could communicate with God.
But then the first man, Adam, sinned and his SPIRIT DIED. He could no longer communicate with God. The link between his soul and spirit were broken.
Today people are born without the capacity to communicate with God. They are born in the image of fallen Adam, not God. This is what the composition of man looks like today:
Without the ability to communicate with God, man is limited in his ability to see the BIG picture. Man can’t see how his life fits into God’s plan. As a result, he gets depressed.
But God through Christ fixes this in that He gives us our EYES back. He gives us a NEW perspective. He gives us HIS perspective. He does this when He restores our fallen spirit through a spiritual rebirth. God does this through the Holy Spirit and it looks like this:
The problem is that most men do not understand the promises given to them though Christ and they continue to LOOK at life through their fallen physical eyes.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness though our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and PRECIOUS PROMISES, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4
For a complete understanding of how truth works and how to apply truth for a new perspective, read my book Truth Based Thinking. Focus specifically on the Apply Truth section.
When man begins to understand that through Christ he has a new IDENTITY (see my article, Understand Who You Are In Christ), and what he sees through his physical eyes is NOT his reality— DEPRESSION SUBSIDES.
As many of you know, I am a Flight Attendant for a major US carrier. In this, I get to experience one of the greatest dramatizations of perspective I can think of. There are many times that the city I originate in has terrible weather. It’s raining, it dark, it’s depressing. But suddenly shortly after take off, we’ll explode through the low hanging clouds and experience a completely different perspective. Above the clouds there is nothing but LIGHT. It’s like seeing the world from a whole new perspective. Just like God sees it. There is no rain, there is no darkness, just peace and magnificent LIGHT.
This is what happens when we experience life through the EYES of God, through the perspective of His promises. Consider the following scripture:
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
This is saying that when you (your mind, will and emotions) look at life through the eyes of your body, it’s DEATH to you. You get depressed. But if you look at life through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, it’s LIFE. You will experience PEACE.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE OF GOD, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
While I’ve focused on depression as it originates in the soul and spirit, it can also come from your body. That’s because our bodies can have chemical imbalances. If you are taking medication for depression, I don’t want you to feel any shame in doing so, sometimes this is necessary.
However, I do feel that medication for depression is greatly overdone in our world today. That’s because doctors don’t understand the dynamics of what’s going on in a patient’s soul and spirit. The medication they prescribe addresses a symptom called depression. It does not address the root of the problem— a wrong perspective.
I also feel that some physical symptoms, while real, are the result of improper thinking that manifests itself in the body. With an effective application of PERSPECTIVE and time, the need for medication will go away.
One thing I do know, is that God wants us to love each other and not judge. See my post on How God Views Sin. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:5-7).