Christians Get Depressed Too: Hope and Help for Depressed People by David P. Murray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Excellent, balanced and short.
Murray knows the difference between depression that is physically or chemically caused, and depression that irresponsibly mishandles feelings or difficulties. Sometimes the two are intertwined. Medication can be wrongly prescribed when the cause is spiritual. Rebuke can be wrongly administered when the cause is medical.
Murray’s main point in writing is in the title. Christians should not load themselves with false guilt simply for noticing they are depressed. Christians can and do suffer from all forms of depression. This doesn’t mean it is always a sickness for which they bear no responsibility, but sometimes it is. His main point leads Murray to argue against assuming as a default starting point that depression has a sinful cause. That may be where you wind up, but when the counselor starts his investigation from that viewpoint, it can harm the one suffering.
Being diagnosed with depression doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. One of the best parts of the book is the way Murray applies a Reformed view of God’s sovereignty to depression. God afflicts us with diseases and difficulties for a reason – a holy reason that is for our good, though we cannot see it.
The church does not handle afflictions like this well. How do you raise and face deeply personal problems publicly, and live with them for years, when they have no simple solution? The church needs to extend and show much patience and love through this.
Murray offers lots of practical help in a short space, for the sufferer and their caregivers both. Highly recommended.
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