I have depression and am also a self-injurer.

Hello. I've been reading your site and I think it is great. It has helped me understand a lot that I was confused about. I have depression and am also a self-injurer. I have also been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bulimia. I have been a protestant all my life. I've attended church regularly, volunteered my time to the church. I've also gone to christian schools. So I'm a little at ends with myself for being confused after 21 years of thinking I understood what I was learning from the Bible.

I know it may be the depression that is tainting the clear vision that I once had of Jesus Christ. But recently, I have not been able to pray. I have made 4 attempts on my life and I know God is not happy with that. I feel as though God wants me to continue to suffer on earth. But I know if I end this misery myself, I will suffer more at judgement. Now, I have asked God to come into my life as Savior and be in my heart. But because of everything that has happened recently, I feel as though He has left me... left me to slowly die a miserable death. I know you say God will never leave you alone again, but I feel as though I don't know His grace anymore. Can you help?... Maybe direct me to some verses in the Bible??

I will try to help you. First thing I see in your messages is the word feel and feeling. We cannot trust our own feelings, Satan can make us feel like anything he wants. God has given us promises and those are what we are to stand on, no matter how we feel. Next you say you are depressed and a self-injurer. Let me address the self-injurer part first. This is a sin, plain and simple. It will separate you from God. Let me show you what I am talking about:

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV) [19] Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; [20] you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

It is pretty hard to claim you are honoring God with your body while you cut or mutilate yourself. This is a sin and it comes from Satan. Satan hates you because you were created in God's image. He also hates you because you have a way of being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. So he gives you the idea of self-injury, he can even make you feel "better" after you cut yourself, but it is a false feeling, just like I described before. You must stop, and you must confess this as sin to God. I think that it is probably part of the depression too.

Depression can be brought on by a number of things. It can have a physical cause, but those are pretty easy for a medical doctor to rule out or treat. It can be caused by sin, because sin will affect our emotional well being. It can also be caused by living in a fallen world with lots of troubles. These last two reasons are treated by going to God. The first one of course is taken care of by confessing our sins and getting our relationship with Christ repaired. The second cause is taken care of by going to God and giving Him our troubles and leaning on Him. It is also a good idea to have other believers pray for you. Let me show you what I am talking about:

(2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NIV) [8] We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. [9] Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. [10] He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, [11] as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Take a good hard look at what Paul is saying. He was not only depressed, but he wanted to die. He felt that life was not worth living. Now notice what he says is the reason he felt that way; so that he would learn to lean on the Lord. Now if the Apostle Paul had to learn that lesson, why would we think we don't need to?

Get rid of the sin in your life, then learn to lean on God. Forget the secular diagnosis you have been given, they are not physical and therefore they are not worth living with. Bulimia is also a sin. It is a sin because it shows the self centered nature of the person. The person who is bulimic is concerned about self instead of what God wants. Confess it and ask God to help you. When the secular world gives people these kinds of diagnosis all they are doing is calling sin a disease, which keeps people from going to the place they need to go; the foot of the cross.

Let me give you another passage:

(Romans 6:16-18 NIV) [16] Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? [17] But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Now look at this:

(Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV) [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. [16] Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus understands what you are going through. He was tempted in every way just like us, but He did not sin. Therefore He can help us when we are tempted, but only if we go to Him.

I hope this helps. You need to find a close Christian friend who is willing to hold you accountable for your actions. One with whom you can be totally honest. You need to be totally honest when you fail, so that this person can hold you accountable before God; not only to resist sin, but to confess it and get back on track when you fail. Also a person who is willing to pray for you and support you.

Ralph

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