How to Keep Your Depression From Stealing Your Identity

by | Nov 27, 2017 | Woman

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).

The Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning. But when I wake up, I’m bombarded with thoughts of sadness, indifference, jealousy, comparison, resentment and bitterness, just to name a few.

I’m a Christian. I believe that Jesus is Lord, I try my best to read my Bible and I try my best to pray. Some days are better than others, I guess.

Today, however, I feel overcome by my thoughts and feelings.

Depression as an Identity

That’s a frequent morning introduction to most professing Christians, including me. We often live our lives drenched in our struggles. The heaviness of anxiety, depression and insecurity wears on us. We wear our sin. We wear our struggles. Jesus conquered the grave, and we have little to show for it. Jesus conquered sin and death—so we could walk in freedom. Instead, we have embraced the struggles He died for.

The common phrase for the depressed or anxious young adult in describing their struggle is: “My depression” or “My anxiety.”

Although I understand the reasoning of that statement, it cannot be the truth we speak over ourselves.

If I’m going to be honest, I’ve noticed myself doing this quite often. The phrases “My pride,” “my depression,” “my anxiety,” “my insecurity,” “my fears” have all escaped my mouth.

However, the truth is we cannot take a consequence of the fall of man and accept it as our selfhood.

The attachment of mental health issues to our identity is a huge reason depression is not an ordinary discussion within the church, because as soon as it’s addressed, the struggler’s walls of defensiveness go up. She has lost hope that she can be healed. She has accepted that it’s just the “thorn in her side” and has ultimately become “a part of her identity.” Once a struggle has taken that form of root within a person, the only hope to hear any truth is by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. But I will try my best to defend my argument. Holy Spirit, use me as a vessel.

“The sin that is most destructive in your life right now is the one you are most defensive about.” —Timothy Keller

You’ll know you have an identity issue based on the things you are getting defensive about. I know when someone has taken depression as their identity because they are defensive and closed off from hearing truth about it.

Just to be clear, though, we can do this with anything. We do it with our careers, our relationships. We can’t see ourselves apart from the degree that we worked so hard for or the man we are in love with; this is an identity issue—when we make something other than God an ultimate thing.

As Christians, we must see our identity solely as children of God.

Jesus came and made the great exchange. He exchanged His position and gave it to us. We are seen now through the blood of Jesus. When God looks at us, He is pleased. He doesn’t look at our struggles and sin, he sees Jesus instead. What a miraculously beautiful thing.

We too must see ourselves as nothing but daughters of the King.

Yes, as long as we walk on this earth we are wrapped in our sinful nature, but that doesn’t mean we embrace it. We don’t adapt our lives to our struggles. No, we give our lives for the one who gave His life for us. Tim Keller said it beautifully recently on Twitter: “Jesus took his hands off his life for you, so you can take your hands off your life for him.”

Letting go of ourselves and taking hold of Jesus is the only way we will live a victorious life.

Any other form of identity will come with severe emotional consequences through the different seasons of life.

I understand the reasoning that allows people to accept a mental disorder as a part of themselves; it’s easier to cope and move on with your life. But I do not believe it’s biblical to adapt or embrace your specific struggle.

As a culture, when we struggle for an extended period, instead of continuing to have hope for healing or aggressively working to grow—
w
e embrace. We accept the struggle, the burden, as the cross we must bear. It’s the thorn in our flesh—as I have heard many profess. And ultimately, because of that embracement, we adjust our lives to fit the needs and demands of our struggle.

Instead of confessing our weaknesses and asking for help, we just change our social circles. We quit our jobs. We give up and adapt because “my depression,” “my anxiety” made me do it. And ultimately, with that type of thinking, we avoid responsibility.

In the morning, when we are tempted to fall into our thoughts, our sin nature, the struggle that has trapped us, we have to remind ourselves that our thoughts are not God’s not thoughts, and our ways are not God’s ways (Isa. 55:8-9) He does have a great plan and purpose for your life.

Don’t embrace the struggles that you are walking through today, embrace the King who came to save you. Let go of your life for Him, as He let go of His life for you. {eoa}

Amaris Beecher is a whole-hearted Christian, richly blessed wife and mother of two stunners, living life in sunny Orlando, Florida. Her goal is to inspire women to live their lives with authenticity and freedom through Jesus Christ.

This article originally appeared at crumbsandglamour.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

RECENT ARTICLES

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest