Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Don't Want To Feel Depressed

by Rev. James Wong
I read an article from about the Causes of Depression. One of the major causes of depression is stress. For example, a serious loss, difficult relationships or a financial problem can cause severe stress. People who have low self-esteem and who are consistently pessimistic are prone to depression. Depression is a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity.

Mental health is as important as physical health. This is the most important verse in the Bible that talks about mental health, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” Proverbs 4:23 (GNT). A life of unhappiness is shaped by unhappy thoughts. A life of fear and defeat is shaped by thoughts of fear and defeat. This is the reason why the Bible teaches us to be careful how we think. Our life is controlled by our thoughts. We have a choice to choose our thoughts. So, think carefully!

1. Think Godly Thoughts. What we are thinking could be wrong. We must allow God to change our thinking. “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT). The only way God can change us is to change our thoughts. Start the day with the Word of God rather than with our old presumptions or the Newspaper.

2. Think Hopeful Thoughts. Stress can trigger a depressive mood. The Psalmist was very depressed and he talked to himself, “Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5, 6, 11; 43:5 (TEV). Self reflection is important. The Psalmist made a decision to put his hope in God and once again praises return to his mouth. Refocus our attention and hope in God gives us the power to rise above our adversity.

3. Think Helpful Thoughts. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me ... Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT). We can choose what goes into our mind and what gets out. Helpful thoughts bring us the peace of God.

4. Think Thankful Thoughts. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18 (NLT). Joyful thoughts bring about joyfulness. Praying helps us to see things from the perspective of God and thankful thoughts keep us being thankful. A spirit of complaining cannot take root in a thankful heart. If I feel depressed, it is time to service my thinking.

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