Thursday, October 16, 2008


The common psychology idea is that depression is the flip side of anger. The energy takes one of those routes, or it is transformed as patience and forgiveness. But that's not the psychology part -- more spiritual. We know that anger is healthy, when it's healthy -- Jesus after all knew anger, and God does. No stories about Jesus being depressed. I expect not -- it's a blockage of a healthy expression of emotion, and it's hard to imagine Jesus as being emotionally unhealthy. It was Elijah who got depressed, after defeating the priests of Baal. He went and sulked under a tree, and it was then that he heard eventually the still small voice. So humans do get depressed. Can't see it happening to God.

My latest insight is that depression is about neglect. Things needing to be done, that are avoided. Tied in to anxiety then, which grow into phobias.

For some reason I started reading Philippians last night. Chapter 1, then lights out. Long sentences, eh? My Bible is full of notes. Circled words from 15 years ago with Greek and clarifications. I was very diligent. Haven't been to church now in six years. Not much Bible reading either. Yeah yeah, I know. We deserve the misery we make for ourselves. Point is, Philippians. There I am, following ever so carefully the subject thread, the antecedents, unspoken and not so very clear. 3:12 -- "that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me." What is that, for which? The perfection of glorification, in the sentence before -- 'that perfection for which....'

So there I am, all grammatical, and I just about breeze through the reason I'm reading this book. Didn't know why, until I noticed it. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Just about missed it. Was on the next page, when it clicked. Of course it's all underlined from years before, so it's clicked before, without making much noise. "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." A promise, of peace. Yes, peace. I know that word.

And then that most profound bit of psychology, which I've never memorized but always bear in mind -- always when I remember to: whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, honorable, if there is any virtue, anything praiseworthy, think on these things.


Sorry to be so preachy. But I'm not really talking to you. Maybe I should, huh? It shouldn't always be about me, huh? But one perfection at a time. Now that I've noticed for reals this time, I'll get it right. From now on, lots of praise and stuff for God, and a new positive attitude.

And maybe you'll remember me in your prayers? It gets awfully dark sometimes.



Joe Rose said...

God Bless you Jack. You certainly have blessed me._Joe

jack h said...


Thank you.