Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blue Sunshine Christians

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

-- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)

Do you think Christians are always sunshiny beings that never feel discouraged or depressed? I'm not talking about feeling discouraged or depressed on account of their Christian struggle, though failing in that arena may well contribute to general discouragement or related depression. Do non-Christians get less depressed than Christians or is it about the same?

Non-Christians have easier access to instant gratification while the Christian with faults or temptations can't just find a quick and easy solution in the way that a non-Christian can. Sometimes this makes for frustration, stress and depression. Are Christians more frustrated than non-Christians?

Of course, the other side is also true. With almost no limits in mind, the non-Christian is able to access too many options and some of these lead to frustration, stress and depression as well. In some ways then, the Christian is safer from certain frustrations, stresses and depressions. A Christian doesn't have to feel the non-stop compulsion to keep up with the ever richer and more successful and more popular Joneses. He or she, may have, though, Christian Joneses to keep up with that measure success in different ways that have nothing to do with money, position and other types of worldly success.

Finally, some Christians, like some non-Christians have serious genetic dispositions to not being always happy, smiling people. Yes, they may, in fact, be more depressed than is normal for another person. Therapy and medication may help, but at times, the only solution is to look to Christ and ask him to mercifully draw nearer and heal and comfort them when they are not the Endless Sunshine Christians of all the mission stories one reads about, but rather, when they are very real, painfully real, Blue Sunshine Christians. There is hope in sight for even a Blue Sun eventually sets.

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