By Dannah Gresh, founder of True Girl
Mom! How’s your heart? I’m asking because so many people are depressed these days. And, sadly, some of them are little people. How’s your daughter?
I want to suggest a highly recommended solution for depression and anxiety. For your daughter. And for you. I want to invite you to give your self a break.
Recently, my husband and I watched a program on an unusual and new treatment for depression. I found one part of the study very thought-provoking: the research reveals that the drugs work, in part, by quieting two parts of the brain that “talk” to each other. Now these just happen to be the two regions that fire up when we think about—get this—OUR SELVES! When they are silenced, anxiety and depression fades.
Let me say it another way: when physicians turned off their patient’s obsession with SELF, they found peace.
Hmmm. I went straight to my Bible because that’s what I do when I find a nugget that nudges me. I found one of the shortest Psalms in the Bible. David wrote about finding deep spiritual contentment in God when he penned Psalm 131.
“I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child and its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.”
My spirit just wanted to lean into that. So, I did. By reading the other two verses in the chapter. (Did I mention it was short?)
“Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up:
My eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
Too great and too marvelous for me.”
And on the other side of our soothing verse:
“Oh Israel, hope in the Lord!
From this time forth and forever more.”
Apparently, David’s contentment was prefaced by renouncing pride and ambition—by thinking a little LESS of himself. And the contentment he found by doing that, was followed up by a firm affirmation that God alone is our hope. Now I hope you don't think David and his harp were parked in a spa parking lot where he’d just been refreshed by stillness, a Swedish massage, and a cool glass of cucumber water. Bible scholars believe that he wrote this when experiencing one of two really bad times in his life. Either it was written when King Saul was hunting him down to kill him OR during the time when his wife was publicly mocking him for the way he worshipped God.
Murderous threats from a mentor or marital discord on display for all of history to see? Yeah, seems like life wasn’t a bed of roses when he found this contentment. He had every reason to be anxious and maybe even depressed.
What I see is this: a man who had calmed and quieted his heart by cooperating with God by making God high and himself low. Sometimes the way up is down. I think maybe, our selfies have to go. Along with all our self-words. Self-worth. Self-awareness. Self-care. And even our self-esteem! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.
Your daughter does not need self-esteem. She needs God-esteem.
If she understands who God is, she will understand her value but not make too much of herself.
You and I need that, too, mom! Psalm 131 promises that if we think more of God and less of ourselves, we’ll find the contentment we’re lacking!
I’m not saying it’s not wise to ask your doctor for help if you need it, to see a Christian counselor when it’s called for, or to take a day at the spa to push re-set on your busy life. We are spiritual beings living in physical bodies. We have to take care of both. But I am saying this: none of those things are complete solutions to anxiety and depression. Not ours. Not your daughters. Only God’s Word can offer an ultimate solution.
And it says, the way up, is down.
So, what d’ya think? How about we give our SELFies a break!
Truth Bomb Action Point: Get down on your knees and ask God to help you learn the truth of Psalm 131. It's one of the shortest to read, but one of the longest to learn. Don't be too hard on yourself if you still need some schooling!
Our True Girl theme verse:
"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32
Mom, the best way to teach your daughter to live like an authentic True Girl is to live like an authentic True Woman. And to do that, you've got to get your life lined up with the Truth of the Bible. Listen to Dannah Gresh every weekday on Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth's Revive Our Hearts podcast. The program features biblical teaching, interviews that offer godly advice, and other opportunities to abide in God's Word.
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