Christmas the most wonderful time of the year can be wonderful for some and at the same time the worst for others. Christmas time is a season of giving, spending time with family and friends, great food, fun, and shopping. More importantly, Christmas is remembering the birth of Christ.
If you haven’t read the Christmas story this season or ever, get your favorite Bible, something warm to drink, snuggle up in your comfortable place, let your imagination flow and read the Christmas Story in Luke 2:1-20. We are in the season of Advent where we celebrate the coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ.
Although this is a season of Advent and celebration of the birth of Christ; realistically many suffer from depression during this wonderful time of the year. Depression can be caused by many life issues, including anger; failure or rejection; family issues, such as divorce or abuse; fear; feelings of futility; lacking control over one’s life; grief and loss; guilt or shame; loneliness or isolation; negative thinking; destructive misbeliefs; and stress.
Symptoms are many, including decreased energy, fluctuating body weight, depleted concentration, irritability, bouts of crying, hopelessness/despair, a disinterest in pleasurable activities, social withdrawal and thoughts of suicide.
The Bible is full of examples of depression with a variety of reasons and results. David wrote of his depression caused by unconfessed sin (Psalms 38; 51). Elijah was so depressed over the situation with Israel’s leaders that he wished to die (1 Kings19). God used depression to get Nehemiah’s attention (Nehemiah 1-2).
Begin clear thinking – over the next week prepare a list of ten things you like about yourself. Three of them have to be physical characteristics.
Get social support – who are your friends? Are they people who help you counter depression? What social groups are you currently involved in?
Pay attention to Spiritual issues – do you have any unconfessed sin that is promoting the depression? Do you need to forgive someone as a means of moving toward personal health? Are you motivated to connect with Christ?
Reading the Christmas Story – Luke 2:1-20, this can take your mind and thoughts off what is causing depression and turn your focus to Jesus Christ. Jesus the One who came to set the captives free. Who the Son sets free is free indeed.
It is my prayer that ALL will experience the most wonderful time of the year with Peace, Hope, Love, and Joy! If you or someone you know suffer from depression, set up an appointment today for professional counseling from a biblical perspective.