Sunday, January 13, 2008

A few thoughts on depression...

I am cleaning out my files, so as that I don't save stuff I don't need/want when I back up my files when I change over to XP.

Found this, an outline for a Bible study on Depression. Thought it would be appropriate for this venue.

Used passages from Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning and Chasing Grace by Martha Manning and no, they are not related at least that I know.


Being a depressed person stinks. Being Christian and depressed stinks too. Everyone assumes your depression is just unresolved sin; something that prayer will heal, so you just must not be spiritual enough.

Depression: dullness or inactivity; dejection; sadness; gloom

What I’ve learned is that when I hurt, I go to people that have known hurt. Christ is one, and so are the collection of friends I have in print and in person. So I’d like to introduce you to a few of these. I’m including distressed people in my definition for the purpose of this study.

I’ve also made up a list of “Things to do for your depressed friend,” which are things we’d automatically do for a friend with a broken arm or a new baby.

1. Give tangible gifts. I am very visual. If I have something (a bracelet, earrings) that a friend has given me, I can remember the love that friend has for me even when they are not physically with me.

2. Take them out to eat or bring food. We are always doing this for people who have been in the hospital or who just had a baby. Depressed people have no energy to cook and often subsist on junk food or fast food, which really doesn’t help the situation.

3. Tell them you love them. Tell them great things about them. Tell them a story. Whatever you do, UNLESS ASKED, do not give advice. This is fatal. This makes you sound like an expert and them feel like a dunce.

4. Akin to 3., don’t ask them if they’ve tried x, unless it’s ice cream and you’ve got some to share. This puts you in a one-up position and if they have tried it and failed, they feel stupid. If they haven’t, they feel stupid that they haven’t tried it. If I call my friend and say gee, my piecrust was rotten, UNLESS I ASK, I am looking for that other person to say gee, that stinks, I’m sorry, can I help, NOT have you tried the great recipe? Because what if the great recipe is what I used? Then I feel like a total loser twice.

Ten Distressed Bible Characters

1. Elijah “[C]ame an sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4

2. Jonah “…. and he asked that he might die, and said, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’” Jonah 4: 10

3. Naomi “I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:20

4. David “I am gone, like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust.” Psalm 109:23

5. Christ37Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. [4] He was very sad and troubled, 38and he said to them, "I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me." 39Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, don't make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. [5] But do what you want, and not what I want." Matthew 26: 37-39

6. The Israelites “Would that we had died by the hand of the God in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger.” Exodus 16:3

7. Jeremiah “my soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is.” Lamentations 3:17

8. Job And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.” Job 30:16-17

9. Paul “I asked God three times to take away this thorn.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

10. Solomon “All things are weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc. 1:9

In sales, sales associates are taught the FFF system of handling objections. “I know how you feel, I felt the same way, this is what I found,” and then sharing how x product helped with the objection. But what if you’ve never felt depressed? The worst thing can be saying Oh yeah I know how you feel when the distressed party knows you haven’t or don’t know.

Readings from books:

Psalm 55: ends in peace.

2 readings from Chasing Grace by Martha Manning, p. 97 sufffering; p. 99 shorten the road.

Other Psalms: 6, 13, 22:1-2, 14-15; 23, 31, 40, 41, 55, 59, 64, 69, 88, 109, 118:13-14 (whole story)

I may come back and flesh this out, but for now, I thought it was a good start. I used this outline for a study in 2002? with a small group I attended at the time.

1 comment:

Amy A. said...

Wow! You should write that all up in a book.