This is the third blog on the subject of false beliefs. May I encourage you to go back and read the previous two blogs (part 1 and part 2) to get a sense of the overall context? All of us have false beliefs, things we believe to be true, but they are false. These false beliefs can impact us for years. We continue to believe a lie that was planted in our minds by our teachers, parents, friends, or even well-meaning spiritual leaders. Unfortunately, these lies keep us in a cycle of bondage and defeat. The enemy will use every opportunity to reinforce these lies to build a stronghold of deception. We have already looked at four of these lies, “My relationship with God is dependent on how I perform,” “God’s favor must be earned,” “I must have everyone’s approval,” and “Because I am a Christian, God will protect me from pain and suffering.” Now let’s look at two more common lies we believe. *A list of these lies can be found in Chris Thurmond’s book, “The Lies We Believe.”
5. My value is determined by my work, my achievements, my income, or my appearance.
Many of us have adopted this false belief. When we attach our value to positions we have achieved, possessions we have accumulated, salary we have earned, education we have completed, or some other temporal measurement, we will soon find deep dissatisfaction with our value. There will never be enough achievements or income to keep us satisfied.
Our true value is determined by our Creator and Redeemer. Since He created us and He redeemed us, He is the One who decides and declares our value. What your Creator and Redeemer says about you is more important that anything anyone can say about you.
Consider these verses from 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” What does this say about your value and purpose?
6. A good Christian doesn’t feel angry, anxious, or depressed.
(Jeremiah 15:17-18; Hebrews 11:32-40)
This false belief is prevalent in our day. We believe that Christians are supposed to manage all of life with grace and power. We are never to be discouraged, depressed, anxious, angry, or fearful. This does not square with the teaching of Scripture. Even the most mature and godly saints have had bouts of doubt, fear, anxiety, and depression.
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. On more than one occasion he expressed utter frustration with his ministry and overwhelming discouragement with his life. The prophet Elijah expressed doubts about God and His people. He was so discouraged that he believed he was the only one left who followed God. God corrected his misperceptions and assured him that there were more than 7,000 who were following God. John the Baptist was so downcast that he questioned whether Jesus was the Messiah.
There are many more biblical examples of faithful believers who walked through deep, dark periods of anxiety, fear, and depression.
A more modern example of a godly Christian who suffered bouts of deep depression is Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Do not let the enemy lie to you about this. Good Christians do experience anger, fear, anxiety, and depression. Now, what will you do about it? You don’t have to face it by yourself. There is help available.
Pastors, you may be facing some really tough challenges right now. Please know that you are not alone. Care for Pastors exists to help you navigate the unique challenges of pastoral ministry. Reach out to us here.