Now, as many of you know I love Twitter, and kinda like Facebook. As a person of faith, working in a ministry of faith, my timelines are often filled with other persons of faith posting words of encouragement and hope. These of course are very helpful. Here is a spiritual conundrum: We want people to be happy, but sometimes people are too depressed to be happy, so saying to be happy actually hurts. Go figure?
There are several issues that are hot button spiritual-emotional issues: Depression, Trust, and Misuse of emotions. These issues are all interconnected. If you are depressed you don’t trust, and while in that distrustful nature your emotions can be used as weapons. Which brings us to the nature of sin. As a Catholic I believe that sin is the breaking of the bond between God and you. You can not love God unless you love BOTH yourself and your neighbour. In sin you are not in a healthy spiritual relationship, and spiritual issues like depression, trust and misuse of emotions can be caused by sin or create moments of pains which feel like sin.
Say a victim of abuse has a hard time making and keeping relationships because of depression, trust and using words as weapons; is she sinning, no. She is reacting to the sin done to her. Her reactions are emotional responses she thinks will protect her, and maybe at one time they did, now she is struck. If she goes to Facebook or Twitter and sees anything that says God is love, be happy while in that state those words feel like a condemnation. Look at that word: condemnation; really look at! That word damns, we have just damned our girl. She believes herself a failure because she can not feel God’s love, she can not feel, or think, she can be happy. We have just driven her into a deeper depression.
What she needs, everyone needs, is to know why God loves them. Give her reasons to accept that God’s love is real. She needs to be guided out of the weeds of her hurt and into the light. And throw away sentiments don’t cut it! So, here is a challenge for me and everyone else who works in the spiritual feeling field: Can we stop talking in platitudes, which I believe lacks faith, and start speaking in strength and truth with examples of God’s power and majesty?