As we have already seen in the previous article many different problems not dealt with biblically can cause depression. The more unresolved problems the deeper the depression. So let’s look at another major problem that many Christians experience because they have not turned to God’s Word, but have chosen to listen to the world’s counselors. The problem of guilt is an issue never dealt with in psychiatry. Yet it is very common for the devil to keep whispering in your ear that you have not been really forgiven and if believed your guilt remains. Guilt is a virus that eats deeply into the heart of man keeping him from experiencing the joy of his salvation.
Cain’s depression was due to guilt. “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door; it desires to have you, but you must master it’” (Genesis 4:6-7). Cain’s face was downcast indicating that he was depressed. God put His finger on Cain’s problem by saying “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” Cain had not done right. Clearly he had withheld the first fruits of his offering to God. He had not given his best and was openly rejected by God. On the other hand, his brother, Able had given his best to God and was accepted. Cain’s sin before God and his unwillingness to confess it created guilt. Moreover, his anger toward God for not accepting his offering and his anger toward his brother for doing right also created additional guilt leading to even deeper depression, displayed by a downcast face. Cain’s rejection of God’s counsel to do right, not only in the offering, but also in confession and repentance of his sin it led him to a more grievous sin of killing his brother.
Guilt is that wonderful dynamic in the heart of every individual to know when he does wrong. David in the Psalm’s has given us the clearest picture of how guilt (un-confessed sin) affects an individual. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). They say that depression immobilizes an individual were they no longer have the strength nor the will to perform the simplest of task, keeping many confined to their couch or bed. Over three thousand years ago David graphically describes the affects of un-confessed sin (guilt) that had led him to the pit of depression. Unfortunately many have ignored their guilt and have continued to do what is wrong to the point of searing their very conscious or allowing it to lead them into the depth of depression.
So how do we deal with depression caused by guilt? We must seek God’s forgiveness, which removes the guilt of our sin. David speaking again in the Psalms says, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and you forgave the guilt of my sin’” (Psalm 32:5, italics are mind). Friends this calls for honesty. Take a long hard look at your behavior asking if it aligns with God’s truth. Examine your attitude toward God and others asking if it demonstrates the attribute of agape love – that self giving love that never expects anything in return. Bring all of your sins before God with true remorse and willingness to turn from your sins and never commit them again. Seek God’s forgiveness for your transgressions believing in your heart that God has truly forgiven you; believing in your heart that He has cast your sin as far as the East is from the West, an infinite distance, never to be remembered again.
True repentance may also require restitution or seeking forgiveness from those you have wronged. To follow this path of self-examination, acknowledgement of your sin, remorse, repentance, confession to God and belief in your heart that God has truly forgiven you – it will bring great joy. Once again listen to David in the Psalms who anticipated this great joy as he called out to God confessing his sin, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot our all of my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:7-10). Yet, we live in a day were psychiatry completely ignores the affects of un-confessed sin demonstrating an unwillingness to even discuss sin in their counseling sessions. Instead of really solving the problem they cover it up by writing a prescription for psychotropic drugs leaving the counselee to continue their daily struggle with depression. Dear friend, if it’s guilt or un-confessed sin that’s causing your depression, then don’t let the devil send you scurrying off to the psychologist or a pharmacist but bring God’s truth to bear on your problem so that you can experience the new transformed life in Christ.
Taken in part from my book: “Stand Firm, Godly Counsel for the Last Days” published in 2012
Copyright © 2013 Rev. Daniel W. Blair – Under the copyright law these articles may be used for nonprofit educational purposes. Please do so to strengthen your fellow believer to remain faithful to Jesus and obedient to His commandments.
These are only examples of Biblical Counseling for the Christian believer. Since the details of your situation are fact dependent, you should additionally seek the services of a Biblical Counselor in person along with the help of the Holy Spirit.