By Basilea Schlink
Now and then we may find that we suddenly become depressed without actually knowing why. Others around us say, "You are so sullen today. What's the matter?"
Usually we have not been able to cope with an unpleasant experience and we have repressed it into our subconscious. But everything that is in our subconscious, that we are not aware of, that we do not want to confront, is in darkness. And Satan has power over this darkness. He is the lord in the kingdom of darkness, and if we come under his power we too will be in darkness.
Perhaps there are two doctors in a town. One has only a few patients, the other has more than he can handle. Every time the first one hears how much the other has to do, he becomes depressed and sullen. His whole family suffers from this. A friend who watches carefully can immediately understand what has happened; "He cannot cope with this humiliation." But strangely enough, the one who has to suffer the humiliation is often unaware of the reason behind his bad temper. He persuades himself that he has to handle all the difficult cases, the ones that require more time and more knowledge. So in this way he does not see the root of his grumpiness and his unfriendliness towards his colleague.
Or perhaps two young girls are sitting together. A young man comes in and one of them has to stand by and watch him talk to her friend and not pay the slightest attention to her. Later at home her mother is amazed how sullen her daughter is, how nasty she can be. Everything is too much for her; she is not willing to do anything. The root lies in this experience. She cannot accept the fact that she is not as popular as her friend.
We-just like this doctor and young girl-usually tend to suppress our humiliations, for instance being overlooked by others. As a result we can never begin to fight against our pride and desire for attention that these experiences bring to the fore. We do not want to confront the situation by saying to ourselves, "I am so depressed and bad-tempered, rebelling against others, perhaps with mean and angry words, because I could not cope with this humiliation. I am proud, jealous, envious. That is why I cannot cope with this situation." If we would admit this, we could find help. Then we could begin to fight against pride and envy. Then we could enter a battle of prayer and faith, ask for hatred towards this sin of pride and then claim the blood of the Lamb, that will set us free.
But that is not possible as long as we continue to suppress things, because we do not want to bring the sin of pride into the light. Ultimately we do not want God to begin to work on this sin, judging us and chastening us. But this "hidden pride" is a most dangerous thing for our spiritual and emotional life. We cannot afford to have this pride. If we repress something unpleasant or difficult, we will have to bear the consequences. This pride takes such a high toll that many people, especially Christians, become depressed and melancholy and even have to be committed to mental institutions. If you do research in this matter, you will find that eighty per cent of depressive and melancholic cases are caused by this hidden pride, which people have always suppressed into their subconscious and never brought into the light.
So such Christians, who do not want to confront and admit their desire for attention, their pride and envy, will harvest misfortune, despair and even mental illness here on earth. But if the consequences of not wanting to admit our sin are so great here on earth, how much greater must they be in eternity! What severe judgment must be awaiting Christians with their hidden pride! So here we have to bring our sin into the light, if we do not want the light of God's holy fire to expose and judge us in the other world.
Thus we have to admit that we sell ourselves to Satan whenever our pride cannot bear playing second fiddle to someone else and we do not bring this pride into the light. But if we admit the truth, it will make us free. Then Jesus Christ, the Light, will be present. And He will bring peace and joy into our hearts and redeem us from the serious outcome of our sin. He will preserve us from melancholy and mental illness.
This is an "either/or" situation. Either we suppress things and wind up with shattered lives, perhaps even in mental institutions," or we will admit our sin of pride and envy and end in light and joy. Then our lives will be filled with power and our activities will be a blessing for others; instead of being melancholy, we will be radiant with the joy of Jesus. Because it is an "either/or" situation, whose consequences reach into eternity, it means bringing everything into the light that we would rather repress.
The first step towards redemption is to find out why are so sullen. We should think of everything we have experienced recently and how we reacted. And then we must break our pact with the sins of pride or envy by not suppressing them, but admitting and unmasking them, confessing them to a counsellor or to someone else, if it will humiliate us. Next we must call on Jesus Christ to let His blood free us. If we bring Him our pride, being willing to have Him chasten and humble us, then we will be transformed. Then we will experience release. Then we will no longer be sullen and mean, no longer in despair, nor emotionally ill. Humiliations are always painful for as, but they will become easy when we begin to give thanks for them. God is doing us a great service through His work of chastening; He is redeeming us from our hidden pride, which ruins our lives and makes us unhappy. He yearns to give us joyful and fulfilled lives.
Not until I find my sin unbearable and begin to
hate it, will I use the scalpel to remove my cancerous
growth of sin. Not until then will something new
begin to blossom in my life.