post is an excerpt from the study guide which accompanies the “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Personal Responsibility Paradigm” seminar. This portion is one element from “STEP 1:ADMIT I have a struggle I cannot overcome without God.” To RSVP for this and other Summit counseling seminars visit bradhambrick.com/events
Human beings are unique from all other creatures in our ability to experience anxiety-depression at times that do not immediately demand the response of fear or despair. Our twin abilities to anticipate and reflect, which account for the major advancements of civilization, also give these unpleasant emotions a chronic place in our lives.
Human beings can not only learn from the past, we can be shamed or traumatized by our past. We can not only plan for the future, we can project many different worst-case scenarios or unrealistic expectations for our future. The same abilities that allow for the greatest human achievements also generate some our most intense internal tortures.
When Satan tempted Eve, he said eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would make them “like God” (Genesis 3:4). He was right, not because Adam and Eve become small deities, but because we gained the partial ability – at least cognitively – to simultaneously live in the past, present, and future. We began to bare the weight of what was, is, and might be with only the ability to influence the present.
One result of this is that depression-anxiety became a very normal part of the fallen human experience. No longer were we willing to live each moment in contented, trusting reliance upon God. We began to want to know “what we would do if…” some bad thing happened (a non-issue before the Fall) and to be ruled by “what we should have done instead of…” some bad or untimely thing we did (another non-issue before the Fall).
In this we see that all depression-anxiety has its roots in sin. That is not to say that all depression-anxiety is the direct consequence of personal sin. Biology, environment, and choice all play a role in our emotions. A big part of this seminar will be learning to identify the role and implications of each.
But the human capacity for unhealthy, untimely depression-anxiety (emotions that are not a proportional response to some immediate dangerous stimulus) became possible at the Fall and are exacerbated as we seek to live lives that are increasingly independent from God. That is why, in this seminar, we will look at those aspects of depression-anxiety over which our choices and beliefs have influence and learn how to find the freedom God provides for these aspects of those emotions in the gospel through repentance, trust of God’s character, and obedience to God’s Word.
For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.
If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Depression” post which address other facets of this subject.