'Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 'This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.'
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Anyone who's had it will tell you: depression is torturous. Hopefully, bad people can't torture our bodies. Nevertheless, bad thoughts can torture our minds.
Under the jurisdiction of 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2, NKJV), mankind is plagued by 'Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms' (Ephesians 6:12, NIV).
The world may not accept this cause of depression, but Christians are not of the world. Neither should we fall under the government of Satan, because 'Our citizenship is in Heaven' (Philippians 3:20, NIV).
By way of Jesus, God gave us a different Rulebook and a new Teacher: the same One Who inspired Paul to write fourteen Books of the New Testament.** Paul understood depression:
'For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?' (Romans 7:19, 24, NKJV).
Before other solutions can be applied to depression, one common root must be exposed: unforgiveness. Because God says it's a deal breaker: a poisonous weed in the field of life.***
Not only is our salvation hooked to forgiveness (as in His for us and ours for others), but so are joy, peace and answered prayers. Can God's chosen people suffer an unforgiveness-based depression? Jonah did.
Actors, models, and talent for Christ: as doctors encourage us to check our physical bodies for symptoms of disease, I encourage you to check your spiritual body for symptoms of unforgiveness. They include unanswered prayers and depression.
If you're not sure, ask God for revelation. Ask God for correction, 'For whom the Lord loves He corrects' (Proverbs 3:12, NKJV). If He shows you this bitter root, dig down deep and pull it up. Then give it to God. He'll return to you fruit instead of thorns, beauty instead of ashes.
If life is a garden, yours will grow so much better in the living soil of forgiveness.
## Depression Solutions: Forgiveness (Part 6)
* Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A21-35&version=NIV
** Bible Books (Epistles) written by Paul: http://www.gotquestions.org/how-many-books-did-Paul-write.html
*** Previous Devotion series on unforgiveness: http://careylewisdevotions.com/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
NOTE: This is a republished edit of a 2014 devotion series called, 'Depression.' You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you're not a performer, don't be deterred. In truth, every disciple acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression Solutions series.