There’s lots of “rules” with modern day Christianity. It’s all the things you are and aren’t “allowed” to do and think and feel that really left me thinking several months ago about whether I wanted to be a Christian, by the worlds terms, or a follower of Christ and a Disciple for Jesus in scriptural terms. Needless so say, if you’ve been here a while you know that that post and concept received both positive and negative comments.
I had someone tell me once that, “if I were strong enough in my faith and my belief in Christ, then I wouldn’t be struggling with anxiety and depression.”
She looked at me with what she thought was a look of love and concern, but what was more or less a look of disapproval and disdain.
Christians Don’t Feel That Way…
As if she was not only questioning my faith, but saying that if I weren’t so “spiritually weak” that I would be able to stand against the enemy and his schemes against me to wear me down.
Maybe that’s true in some tiny, minimal aspect. Like…a really, really, teeny tiny aspect. Scripture tells us over and over again that we can expect hard times when we accept and believe that Christ is Lord and Savior. That’s just all there is to it. We can argue it, negate it, listen to preachers and pastors speak about the ‘goodness of the Lord when we do for him and how he will do for us’ all we want to, but it just boils down to the simple truth that with Christ comes trial.
So when I had someone in the church tell me that my faith wasn’t strong enough because I was going through a hard time or because some things in life had me worn out, I had to stop and wonder which Bible they were reading and which God they were serving.
Because my God promises comfort to those who are distressed (src). Promises that not only will we never be separated from Him, despite whatever trial and struggle may come our way, but that He intercedes for us during those times (src).
I have to admit…I was nothing short of offended and a bit angry when I was told that I wasn’t strong enough in my faith because of my struggles. In my opinion, not only was it completely off base and completely inaccurate, but it was misleading. Had someone who wasn’t of sound faith or a new believe overheard that conversation, that would have put a stigma into their mind that belief = no more problems and no more temptations or struggles. And that is a clear and concise way to completely ruin faith for anyone for eternity.
Battling issues such as depression and anxiety are hard enough without feeling not only judged by other believers but demeaned because of what you’re struggling with. No one chooses to feel like their life is falling apart. Certain struggles, in fact most all struggles, are kept in the dark…they’re kept quite…hidden away so that no one sees.
God sees. And he knows.
[pullquote]There are times in which He depends on us to do his bidding for him when someone needs our help and needs our encouragement.[/pullquote] We are called to bear one another’s burden* and build one another up* not condemn and ridicule.
Criticizing someones struggle just because you don’t get it or because you haven’t battled it doesn’t mean that you’re right in believing that they “shouldn’t” struggle. Because we all struggle. Even if we don’t talk about it. It’s easy to stand on the sideline and point fingers and cast stones when you aren’t in the midst of the trials. But, if my Bible is correct…and it is…then I believe it was Jesus who said let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
Let’s stop pretending that we know it all.
Let’s stop pretending to be Jesus.
Let him do the judging and the convicting. Let’s let Him choose what parts of people’s lives he touches and changes. Let Him help “fix” them while we just encourage them through whatever it is that they may be battling.
Perhaps someday we’ll need them to do the same.