Does perpetual selfishness lead to depression?
Understand that we’re not at all implying that every case of depression is the result of selfishness. Not at all! There are many causes of depression. As you may well know, depression can be traced to chemical imbalances, trauma, unresolved conflict, etc., etc.
Our main focus today is how, when we serve our sinful and selfish tendency to live with only ourselves in mind – taking no consideration of others – that we actually open the door to depression and disillusionment.
Though our ‘natural’ bent is towards selfish sin, we have a supernatural bent that trumps our selfishness. We bear the image of our Creator and He is a giver. He made us in His image. We are our best selves when we serve as flow-through accounts of His blessings to a world very much in need. We find our greatest joy when we allow God to use us to bring joy to others.
It kind of reminds me of my cycle class. Sounds like a big giant leap off of topic, I know. But let me explain. Due to a long-drawn-out battle with Lyme disease, I have joints that get stiff and sore when I don’t get exercise. When I don’t get exercise, I feel pain, which makes me tired, which makes me need to accommodate my needs. I hate that! But when I get myself to cycle class and I engage in physical output, I am absolutely exhilarated. When my blood has a chance to move and circulate at an accelerated rate, I come to life, my pain goes away, and I have so much more of me to give away to others.
In the same way, when we push beyond what our ‘flesh’ would rather do, we find life and energy and fresh vision.
We’re made to receive from God and to pour out to others.
Now, we could do a whole show on ‘over-serving-to-validate-our-worth-to-the-point-where-we-wear-ourselves-out’ idea, but that’s the other extreme. As you’ve probably heard me say time and time again – the Christian walk is not rocket science. It’s simply about living in response to God’s love. That’s where we find our best selves, our restful balance, and our greatest sense of joy.