Now this doesn't mean our own sins specifically but the misery and dissatisfaction that fills our world due to being cut off from God after the fall in Book of Genesis.
There are different sorts of depression. One is clinical which has a biological reasoning behind it, namely the imbalance of several chemicals in the brain, namely serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, in which I don't feel qualified to comment on. Another is demonic which has an intensely spiritual side and often leads to suicide.
I'm not covering either of these now, this is merely regarding the general lethargic despondency that overcomes many of us at various times.
The root of depression
My own depression I have claimed at times to be due to the weather, related to the absence of my husband (who lives in China) or born out of boredom; but if I'm honest it really comes out of one thing:
"I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." (Romans 7 verse 19 NLT).
That is the root of depression right there. We were made to minister God's love, not just Christians but all of mankind. When we live for selfish gain, laziness, procrastination, comfort, drunkenness, 'a good time' or anything else we are not doing what we were made for.
It's not that I cannot do it. It's that it is hard and often times I want to take the easy road (sitting around in my pyjamas, eating chocolate and watching Adventure Time) rather than doing what I should do (sacrificing my own comfort to minister to anyone and everyone I can find). Life is hard enough and living life the right way is the next to impossible, so depression is inevitable.
The curse of inward misery
I'm not talking about being disheartened. Being disheartened is when the world hates us for doing what we should do (sharing the gospel and being the light) and we feel the pressure of that outside hate. Yet depression is an inwards hate and it comes from neglecting what we were made to do. But we cannot always minister the way we were made to while we are not God and instead selfish, pathetic people.
"How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?" said David in Psalm 13. David was a man of God and yet his heart was filled with sorrow. The only way you can conquer depression according to Blaise Pascal (another great man of God) is diversion and even so, that doesn't last long.
"The only thing which consoles us for our miseries is diversion, and yet this is the greatest of our miseries. For it is this which principally hinders us from reflecting upon ourselves and which makes us insensibly ruin ourselves… But diversion amuses us, and leads us unconsciously to death." (Pensees 171).
It's life, deal with it
We are all cursed to depression at times. It's part of the curse of sin on mankind and it's part of life. David accepted it as it was, something to inspire him to pray always (as we are told to do) which we find evidenced in the Psalms. Pascal accepted it too, as he believed reflection on ourselves and our miseries could save us from eternal separation from God.
Here is me accepting it. I'm miserable at times, I wish I did better and I'm human. I watch cartoons when I should be sharing the gospel. I am shy when it comes to approaching people I could minister too. And I think I need chocolate to get over my depression when all I really need is to cry out to God. Knowing God doesn't stop the curse and being depressed doesn't ruin my relationship with God.
You can try to cover your depression with food or TV but the sooner you accept it and cry out to God for the wretched person that you are (Romans 7:24), the sooner you can get back to trying to minister to the people of the world on behalf of God again as "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin" (James 4 verse 17).
And so the cycle goes until He comes. But hey, God never said life was meant to be fun.
Bridget Brenton is a new mum who lives on the Gold Coast, studies and teaches scripture at a local school. She has started 101arguments.com an apologetic effort to compile the largest number of arguments for God's existence as possible. After researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years, she is ready to fight the good fight where it counts the most.
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html