Life events that are beyond our control put us in dark places in our mind that seem to have no escape. The weight of circumstances become so heavy that we feel helpless and hopeless. In my early Christian life I did not understand the power of God’s Word and let Satan dominate my thoughts with self-doubt, low self-esteem and self-loathing. My daily thoughts were filled with failures and short-comings that were all too real to deal with on my own. However, when I began to understand that all of these thoughts were focused on “self” I quickly understood the problem. When I stopped focusing on me and focused on God the darkness soon lifted. Pride is the beginning of depression. The world has worked really hard to convince us that the answer to having a successful, happy life is to build up our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is the opposite of what God’s word teaches. To esteem yourself is pride. Proverbs 16:18 states, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 29:23 states, “A man’s pride will bring him low”. Pride is the seed that grows depression.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3) Doesn’t this sound like the opposite of what we learn from the world? The world teaches in order to get ahead you have to build up yourself. Paul taught us to forget about our own ambition and live a life esteeming others. Instead of self-esteem, focus on "other-esteem". It is amazing what happens when our focus in life is helping others and lifting them up. Helping people out of poverty, mentoring a young man or women to be all they can be in life.
Jesus is to be esteemed above all. If you lift up the name of Jesus He will lift you up. Declaring His name above all and in all will open the door for blessings to be poured out in your life and lift the darkness of depression.
Pastor Scott Cheshire