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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Depression & God's Discipline:
Rebuke or Suffer

"If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them (Luke 17:3 NIV)."

I once worked at a secular crisis center, a so-called Short Term Adult Residential Treatment (START) facility. Patients generally came to the facility after being released from hospital emergency rooms or psychiatric hospitals. It was a learning experience to say the least!

I remember one woman especially well. She was at the facility as a result of anxiety and depression. She had a total of six suicide attempts. And she was very much a Christian.

When discussing how she came to become so depressed, an older brother came into focus in a salient way. This brother was very critical of her and blamed her for everything. And this client would just take this continuing abuse. Her reasoning: Something like: "Doesn't the Bible say to love your brother."

Her interpretation of Scripture was that she should just forgive and try to love and allow herself to be abused.

As a result of this misinterpretation of Scripture, she became severely depressed and then repeatedly tried to kill herself! She also experienced major problems with anxiety. This should be no surprise to anyone who has a working understanding of Scripture.

When looking at this issue, think about what God is trying to accomplish in our lives. Consider this Scripture (Psalm 31:24 NLT): "So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!"

Yes, God does want us to be forgiving. But he also wants us to develop courage. And He won't take no for an answer. The pain will continue until we get it right.


God has a purpose in what He is doing. So cooperate, study Scripture and seek to obey.

"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way (Hebrews 12:11 NLT)."

So, when a sibling is abusive, remember God's rule: "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them (Luke 17:3 NIV)."

It will prevent a whole lot of unnecessary pain.


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