Tag Archives: depression

The Sick One is Lord of the Home

We bemoan divorce statistics which do not appear to improve. But divorce is not the cause but the result of family dysfunction, and  what ruins the home ruins society. The problem always goes back to whoever is ruling the family.  Where one person is sick that person dominates family life.

Who is Lord of the Home

It never starts out that way. Newly-weds are the most positive, hopeful group of all, filled with the best expectations for a happy home, prosperous and stable, even when they themselves are neither.

But then circumstances change. And God does not change circumstances; He changes people who then deal with circumstances.  We may pray for different circumstances- more money, more power, a better location, more education – whatever – but when we are in His will He changes us.

God’s purpose is to bring us individually into conformity to His will and His plans. God is smarter than we are. (You’d be surprised how many do not believe this.)

What is the Will of God

Christian counselors will tell you the most common need people desire is “to know the will of God.” Well – here it is: 1 Thessalonians 4:3  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… In street language that means “clean up your act.”

Bad attitudes and behavior must go.  This passage mentions specifically fornication, i.e. sex outside of marriage, as being the first step for coming into conformity with God. It is routinely violated these days and the results are everywhere.

But the rest must go too – unforgiveness, selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, and aggressiveness as well, control freakishness, greed, envy, jealousy, self-will and refusal to change. The list is long.

To our newlyweds everything for a while is fine and then – loss of a job, a miscarriage, an accident, a car breaks down, the untimely death of a relative, a house fire. You name it.

This is the fallen world we live in. We do not have Utopia here, nor will we get it. What will we do? How do we react? God wants us to seek Him in this situation.

Reactions to Evil

And here is the awful truth. We become depressed, we blame others … the president, our parents, our teachers, our church. We drink to excess or seek an affair, or change jobs.  Allowed to continue we become the Sick Man of the home and our problem becomes the lifestyle of everyone else. The children stay away or play basketball outdoors til midnight to avoid contact with the sick. Or they lock their bedroom door and play music on headphones or watch TV to block out reality. I know literally a dozen people who married right out of high school to escape the sick home. 100 years ago the Poor Man’s Divorce – just leaving town – was common.  With social security numbers and DNA you can’t do that anymore. Some people leave the country if they can afford it.

Psychologists learned that  family members can become physically ill when the Sick Lord rules – stomach cramps, depression, suicide, asthma, migraines, truancy, drugs.  Children blame themselves for divorce. “If I had been a good child, this would not have happened.”  So the kid pours the booze down the sink. It’s an expensive drain cleaner  – don’t bother. Removing an inanimate object cures nothing.

Frustration, despair ensures and finally separation and divorce. Yes, things are better, the Sick Lord is no longer in charge but new problems develop – mainly financial. And society suffers another small breakdown.

Intervention

What is the answer? A child must inform a trusted adult. Adults can try intervention which is a practical means of going back to the original problem and solving it.  Even if it is years ago we can do that because God is in eternity and time is no problem to Him if the participants are alive.

My friend and her two adult daughters packed daddy’s bag, put it in the trunk and Daddy in the car.  They drove to the airport, handed him a ticket to the Mayo Clinic and said, “Quit alcohol and remain sober or don’t come home.” This kind of intervention takes a group of people, not just one.

It worked. He never again touched alcohol, but his heart was not changed.  His whole body showed the grief he had over giving up his beloved Brandy and he died a few years later. To quit your problem does not necessarily change your heart.  But it is the first step.

God intervened in the life of a teenager whose mother planned to kill her. A neighbor by accident discovered the plot and called authorities. When I say “by accident” I really mean that someone prayed. You can always intervene with prayer – and it is legal and silent.

If someone brandishes a loaded gun at you, call the police. You need a public record of this event.  You do not say, “Oh, he’ll get over it.” Evil allowed to fester eventually takes over and becomes uncontrollable.

Decide to Resist Evil

Every event and change in your life calls for a response or a reaction. God is giving you the option to do it His Way or your way. The answers are all in the book – the Bible.  Churches may or may not help.  They are people driven and people are flawed.

Blessed is He who does God’s will first.

#Godswords #Godsays

The Chief Way to Know There is a God

The worst thing to ever happen to this world would be to have every day and every night a different length. One night is 4 hours long, the next day is 22 hours and the next night 12 hours the next day 30 hours and you would never know what would be next. Nothing could get done. No seasons for growing, no ability to make appointments, confusion everywhere, and what would be on TV and when? Our lives are dominated by time – time for dinner, time for work, time to brush your teeth. It would be chaos.

We walk into a house that is a complete mess, or an office with tools and papers thrown about and we ask what is wrong? As a housewife I looked at the Tsunami pictures and thought – how do you start cleaning up? Psychologists tell us chronic disorder is one sign of depression.

The presence of order in the universe tells us our first piece of information about God. That is what the ancients thought and they originally worshiped the sun, moon and the stars. They do that today as in astrology; bet you never thought of it as paganism. But really, do you think the stars are talking to us? Not likely. I have many stones in the yard and they never speak.

Every culture on the face of the earth believes in a supreme being based on the order seen everywhere. Philosophers call it Intelligent Design.

David was the youngest of 8 sons so he was given the worst job in the family – tending the sheep. After many long hours out in the hills alone he wrote this:

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

Almighty God, we thank you for the orderly universe you have given us – the 24-hour day is the canvas on which we paint our individual lives. Amen.

Why God let Moses see Him only from Behind?

Kim Clement pointed this out and the reason is terrific. Here God is speaking to Moses.

Exodus 33:23 and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

By standing behind God, Moses only looks into the future. God does not want us looking at the past. Those who live in the past are depressed and unhappy; they try to make the present either fit the past or correct it. They are often unable to believe new ideas or correct old ones. It is a futilre existence. Can’t be done.

Future-oriented people have hope and hope can generate faith in them and others. The just live by faith and without faith it is impossible to please God. If God isn’t pleased, you won’t be either.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

The quotation “the just live by faith” appears seven times in scripture. And seven is symbolically the number of maturity, therefore words to live by.

What does it mean to repent?

The first leg on a journey back to God is forgiveness. Repentance is the second leg and best understood by what it is not.

It is not remorse, regret, lament, apology, feeling bad about, wishing it had never happened, depression, despair, sorrow, shame or guilt. Those are all valid emotions which ordinary people feel when they have done wrong, or at least when they think they have done wrong. But emotions are not actions.

Jesus never once asked anyone how they felt; but many times he asked them “What do you think?” Thinking governs actions. To repent is to act.

Remorse is feeling so very bad about something that it destroys you. Judas betrayed Jesus and was engulfed by remorse so thoroughly he killed himself. That is not repentance.

Matthew 27:2-4 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.Could Judas have repented and been restored to Jesus? Yes, but he did not.

Shame and guilt engulfed Peter after he had denied he knew Jesus. He didn’t kill himself or anyone else, but he skulked back into the shadows until Jesus openly and publicly asked Peter to undo in his heart what he had done previously in front of others. Jesus asked him 3 times if he loved Him since Peter had denied him 3 times. From The Message

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me more than these?” The word love here refers to the pure love of God.

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.” The word for love here refers to the love between persons, brothers, friends.

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (αγαπας) me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love (φιλω) you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love (φιλω) me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Peter knew what it meant to really repent. He believed he loved Jesus with God’s love, and could after the betrayal only confess to (φιλω) the love of mankind. But he did make as many confessions of love as he had of betrayal.

The English really cannot know these different words for love, essential to correct interpretation. Peter was required by the circumstances to agree and also recognize that his love was not as devoted and as unconditional as he had originally believed. Peter found out the truth about himself in this scenario. Peter was not only restored, he became one of the most aggressive of apostles.

Sorrow was what Mary felt when she saw her son die. Lament was what the women did at Golgotha. (Matt 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children. ) Depression is a long term response to anger turned inward. The cure for depression is not repentance but praise. Isaiah 61:3.

Enough of what it is not. Repentance defined is, using a translation of the Greek word metnoia, (meta=change, nous=mind), solely to change your mind. This takes an act of the will. It does not mean that you really need to know very much. The simplest person can change his/her mind.

I once worked for a gifted attorney; in fact she had never lost a case. Even though she attended church and Sunday school every week, (and her husband was a preacher’s kid), she told me that she hoped she would do enough good in her life to be accepted in heaven. Clearly she had not one clue what true salvation was all about. She needed a mental change. What will happen to bring her to this? I have no idea but clearly weekly preaching has not done it for her. Will she have a sudden realization of her lost-ness?

As one who worked with prisoners for years I saw people in jail who did not see their condition until they had a realization of the love of God. One murderer said he broke down in sobs when he realized that he had killed someone that God loved.

The Bible says there are two ways to get people saved: one is kind and gentle words of love, and the other is pure-T scaring them into the Kingdom.

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

God uses all methods to bring man to Himself.