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A young pastor, Jarrid Wilson, who also suffered from major depression, recently died of suicide. He was also a vocal mental health advocate. This tragedy has naturally rocked the twitterverse,  shaken the Christian social media world.  It’s very sad and heartbreaking. He leaves behind a wife and two sons, not to mention the thousands of people he pastored, ministered too.

I’m often really frustrated by anything marked “advocacy,” or “social justice,” because now this tragedy is politicized, filled with hyperbole,  ruled by emotionalism, and one would have to be crazy to try to have a civilized and edifying conversation about it.

Insanitybytes, as if that explains everything, but it really does, and so I’m going to talk about it. I’m going to talk about it because much of what I see in the arena of “mental health advocacy” or “mental health social justice,” really concerns me.

Somebody smart once said, “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” I think that’s a great place to start.

Depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, these are all afflictions that can really mess with your perceptions. There are many other afflictions too, but those are the ones I am well acquainted with. Often when our brain chemistry acts up, we can’t trust our thoughts because they are lying to us. You can’t trust your feelings either, because they follow your thoughts. So your thoughts are deceiving you, your feelings are lying, and then we get to the spiritual side of things, you often have the father of all lies, busy talking to you.

It’s kind of like being surrounded on all sides. It’s like Jesus being tempted by satan in Luke 4 where it says, “And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here…”

And the devil is a liar. Always.

I’m going to say Jesus was tempted in every way that we might be tempted, and that includes suicide, because that’s sure what I read and see in the Bible. So Jesus has been without food and water for a long time and it’s quite likely His perceptions are no longer working right. He can’t trust His feelings or His thoughts and so instead He replies each time with, “as it is written” or “as it says. ” He does it again when satan invites Jesus to throw Himself down from the temple, ” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Those words really taught me something invaluable, something priceless, something that has probably saved my life on a  few occasions and  has certainly protected my mental health many other times. We are not our bodies, we are not our thoughts, we are not our feelings, we are not our perceptions, in fact you can loose all of those, and you will still exist outside of yourself, as an observer, as a soul.

We are not what our body is saying to us. We are not our brain chemistry. We are not always what reality around us is saying to us. Our identity is not in what we feel or what we reason out in our minds. We exist beyond all of that. Depression is lying to you.

When you can grasp this truth, then you can pull yourself away from your circumstances, come out of your own thoughts, become an unbiased observer of your feelings, detach yourself from whatever is going on within, and begin walk through it, or to walk out of it.

“Our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

 

 

 

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