An unfortunate part of Christianity is the pressure to prove that Christians have something everybody else needs. While I have no doubt that certain individuals truly do have more peace, joy, etc I just had more guilt.
As a Christian I was supposed to have more peace, joy, wisdom, and morality than people without the good news of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Certainly there were people who had little hope but there were others who seemed so much happier.
How to explain those non-Christians with better marriages? Those who loved living? Those who were generous without needing the Bible to tell them?
1) They are faking it and really have a desperate hunger for God they are good at hiding.
2) They obviously have some measure of the Holy Spirit, and imagine the kind of people they’d be if they had more!
3) I must have too much sin in my life to live in the Joy of the Lord.
So, I’d try even harder to confess sins, submit and live better so that others could see what a wonderful god I served by my broken and shining life.
We were too afraid to be real. Especially within the church.
A lovely Christian friend of mine tried to commit suicide. She was saved by her sister who stumbled upon her ‘nap’ and thought her breathing was funny. The sister called 911 immediately.
She told no one from church. She did tell her school. Somehow she found it less frightening for the kids who bullied her at school to know than us loving ‘brothers and sisters in the Lord’.
I only knew because her mother told me. I felt like I failed her. She didn’t trust me enough then and its only now, more than 10 years later, that we can talk about it.
A little while ago I thought it might be good if those of us who struggled with depression in our church got together. I envisioned a safe place where we could share stories, discuss issues and support each other. I was surprised by the negative reaction. It seems that such a group made some people feel threatened and worried about how others would treat them if they knew.
What were we so afraid of?
That we failed god? or that he failed us?