Does depression take a toll on the mind and the body?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I lived through the Great Depression but what we are going through today in this country doesn’t compare. A more serious depression is taking the lives of the elderly and even the young people. We brag about our progress but with the high numbers of suicide, I don’t believe this is the progress we had hoped for. It seems that depression takes a toll on the mind and the body! – D.T.
A: There is a close relationship between our minds and bodies. Proverbs puts it this way: “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (17:22). Doctors and scientists agree with this truth proclaimed in Scripture.
There is also a close relationship between our mental and physical health and the health of our spiritual lives. Guilt, fear, jealousy, bitterness, futility, escapism — these and a host of other problems are spiritual ills brought about by the disease of sin. Like poison, they can sicken us in mind and body. There are many things that cause depression but anxiety is certainly one culprit. The more a person feeds on anxious thoughts, the more anxiety grows.
When Christ comes into our lives, He removes our guilt and takes away our fears. He gives us love for others and a new purpose in life. His joy and peace neutralize sin’s poison — and that promotes emotional and physical health. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our emotional and physical problems will vanish, but like pure water, God’s peace in our hearts brings cleansing and refreshment to our whole being.
The Bible is filled with passages that bring comfort and joy. Reading and dwelling on them will bring comfort and peace. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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