This is just a developing thought that comes from a conversation with a friend the other day, but I think that we have too much self-reflection in the church. I know in the world it's all about finding oneself and becoming a better you, but in the church it's supposed to be about (J)esus first, (O)thers, and (Y)ourself LAST!!!
It's amazing to me how many depressed Christians there are out there. I mean down in the dumps and worried about tomorrow. I know please don't think I'm judging you if you deal with this. I just think it's a simply/complicated issue. Back to what I was saying. NO JOY, none, nada, zip, zilch, nothing!!!
Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice IN THE LORD ALWAYS: and again I say, Rejoice." This sounds to me like he is commanding EVERYONE IN CHRIST to REJOICE... not in their circumstances, but IN THE LORD. IF we are heavenly minded how can we do anything other than rejoice. I could develop this point more, but I'm sure you know that IN HEAVEN there will be no more crying, pain, sickness... That is something to rejoice about.
However, IF you are like most (myself included) heavenly things don't get me rejoicing very often. So, where does that leave us? With another command... Jesus said "come and follow me". What did He mean? To a place, of course not. Do what HE did. What did HE do? Healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the 5,000. You know what I mean. WELL, where does that leave you and me? I haven't healed any sick lately, but I CAN help take care of some. I haven't raised the dead, but I CAN minister to the elderly, the sick, and the mourning. I haven't fed 5,000, but I CAN open my house and feed a few.
There is SO MUCH we can do for the Kingdom in our everyday life that IF we were busy following after Jesus WE WOULD HAVE NO TIME FOR CRYING. If we were putting Jesus first and others above ourselves we would have no time to reflect on how depressed we are. IF we were seeking to follow after Jesus we would be surrounded by those that are truly in need and we would be overwhelmed with gratitude for our blessings. WE WOULD BE REJOICING IN THE LORD. How could we do anything else.
In no time in history have people ever had so much idle time on their hands and the result is a whole multitude of depressed people. Is the key to healing from depression as simple as giving our lives to others for the cause of CHRIST? Can we find contentment, fulfillment, and purpose in giving away our lives? Laying them down for others. In James it says true religion and undefiled is to take care of the widows and the orphans. THE FOUNDATION of the GOSPEL is LOVING OTHERS IN ANY WAY YOU CAN.
It's amazing to me that in studies people report they get a high from serving others and giving of themselves to others. GOD made us and he KNOWS what we need. He knows that we can not find purpose for ourlives by self-reflection. We can only find purpose in being used by him to serve those who are in need. What the world needs now is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Not a feeling, but an action. What have you done for HIM/THEM lately???