While sitting through a couple hundred support group meetings, people’s shared experiences and emotions still come as a surprise. Not one of us is completely alone in a secret struggle. This is not to say that all people with mental or behavioral challenges feel the same equally, yet common perspectives and reactions to life’s stressors do show up often.
One of these is self-doubt.
My judgment is questionable. Other people know better. I wish someone would tell me what to do next. Past mistakes are proof that my instincts lead me down the wrong path every time. I’m incapable of making a wise decision. Fear of failure paralyzes me.
When we are experiencing an episode of depression, it may be true that right now our judgment is impaired. It is important to listen to those in the know – experts such as doctors and therapists.
However, this momentary struggle does not prove a permanently flawed ability to make wise decisions. Think of it this way: looking for answers is wise. Is then even the decision to read this blog proof of some good judgment? Yes. Is the time you spend searching for professional help a show of healthy decision-making? Absolutely.
With that said, our judgment is not our only resource. While a constant refrain of cannot or have not will feed depression, adding a few simple words pivots those thoughts toward hope.
I cannot; God can. I have not; God will not abandon me. I do not see; God will show me.
Proverbs 5:6-7 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” *
Let’s break that down
Trusting the Lord is to have confidence in his absolute wisdom. Trust in the Lord is also being secure enough about his guidance to not doubt it, but to follow it.
Trusting in the Lord “with all your heart” means that our inner self, our mind, what we think we know, our thinking patterns, and how we perceive memories are each given to God in willingness for him to encourage or correct us.
Our tendencies and will are also part of our heart as the storage place of emotions and desires. To “not depend on your own understanding” may seem contradictory to our wish to show sound judgment, however, the operative word is “depend”. We are completely at the mercy of our dependencies. So no, it is not best to lean on our personal understanding alone. We are fallible and our hearts can deceive us. God is always holy and wise.
Self-doubt is defeated when we know the path we are on is the best one. We never have to question God’s ability to lead. The finest judgment we can exercise today, no matter how we feel, is to put our faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and begin to heal.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 119:65-67 (NIV)
Do good to your servant according to your word, Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.