How to Prevent Slipping Into Depression
by Teacher Maria vonAnderseck
Everyone experiences times of deep frustration and distress associated with trauma, loss of a loved one, or unfulfilled dreams that can soon leave you feeling hopeless or empty inside. Satan seeks to take advantage of those moments to fill our minds with “weed thoughts” to tie our expectations to our emotions rather than to the Word of God.
If we allow the Deceiver to plant his thoughts within our mind and we in turn water them, then we can expect to be unhappy, feel disillusioned with God, torn between what we want and what we seeing happening around us, and making decisions that are emotionally driven.
I’m not talking about how to feel “up” instead of “down”. I’m talking about being careful how we deal with our feelings. When the alarm sounds and you pick up on feelings of disappointment or frustration, know that this is God’s call to you to take captive your thoughts to Christ.
Feelings of disappointment or frustration are symptoms of (weed) thoughts presented by the adversary that he is asking you to nurture. If not taken captive, they will soon lead to a deepening of sadness, guilt, despair, and finally full blown depression.
Thoughts Are Seeds Planted In the Garden of Your Soul
I want you to think of your thoughts as seeds that are planted in the garden of your soul. When these are thoughts of grace, these are seeds that are called “precious” seeds as spoken of in Psalm 126:6, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
The “weeping” in this verse speaks to us of the labor involved in guarding our minds, that it carry the thoughts of Christ in the fulness of His grace. Weeping also speaks of grace and suffering both being present in each cycle of growth as we co-labor with the Holy Spirit to strengthen the bonds of Christ in charity.
God’s usage of the word “precious” to describe the seed of Truth is amazing! The word precious means: Spoken (of an object, substance, or resource) of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
Double Mindedness is Carelessness
I want to bring out what Apostle James says about double mindedness so you can understand what God means about handling the seed of His truth carelessly. James taught, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
Double mindedness is treating God’s truth carelessly; Laboring with grace and truth to allow the Spirit to plant the seed in the garden of our soul, but then in times of trouble, when contradiction arises, and Satan comes to plant thorns, briers, and weeds in the garden of our soul (these are thoughts that are not precious, not the substance of God’s kingdom), these thoughts are not weighed on the scale of truth, but allowed to linger, where time is permitted them to take root into our perception.
Steps to Deal With Double Mindedness
The first step in dealing with double mindedness it to recognize when double mindedness takes place. Part of how double mindedness manifests is that you’re not really hearing what you’re saying and how the adversary keeps the soul lingering between 2 kingdoms, actually uprooting the precious seed and allowing the thorns, briars, and weeds to prosper by feeding these thoughts and giving them room to grow.
If you know anything at all about gardening, each seed placed in the ground needs its own space to grow into a mature and fruitful plant. When we say that the seeds of troubling thoughts are given “room” to grow we’re talking about a time span where the thoughts planted by the Deceiver are allowed to mature.
Double mindedness is Catastrophic Backtracking
Double mindedness is about backtracking - you're just doing what feels natural to survive. God’s thoughts sown within the mind does not feel as “natural” as distressing or painful thoughts. And it’s the natural inclination of man to backtrack to a place that feels normal to you.
If you are having trouble with double mindedness, you might find yourself saying that you’re gaining a new perspective…how you may not have noticed, but suddenly you are building with troubling thoughts and you are trying to reason it out and soon you are confused and condemned… how these thought had taken root in your mind, and how they are easily nurtured, and before you know it, you carry the fruit of that "planting". And finally, you may say that this is when it is important to know the difference between the two kingdoms.
And then a second later you might say, I understand that depression is because of the fall of man from God's Light, but if we labour with these tools of the covenant, why am I still experiencing these things? Do I labour too little? I have wondered if this is may be a judgment of God? I know God's grace is sufficient, and it is the power of all powers, I just don't understand how one can keep feeling this way…
Do you see the backtracking in the contradiction of thought to what was previously said about gaining new perspectives and the understanding of what happens when the wrong thoughts are reasoned out on the wrong scale?
Asking the Wrong Questions
Another important step that we are seeing unfolding here is that in order to deal with double mindedness we need to learn to ask the right questions. In this example, there are 4 questions that are being presented to the mind for answers:
I want you to see that each question led to confirm confusion and deepen despair and hopelessness. Can you see in the questions the manifestation of the catastrophic backtracking of the double minded? The confidence gained is lost on account of backtracking.
No confidence is being taken in the experience of life that takes place when the precious seed is planted and nourished by God. Which thoughts are taking the mind captive?
Remember, where there is a sowing, there is always a reaping as we read in Psalm 126:6, [he that sows precious seed] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
No one plants thorns, briars, and weeds because no one wants to harvest them. We already know that there is no rejoicing in these plants.
Double Mindedness Robs the Heart of Harvest Experiences
So, what double mindedness actually does is rob the heart of the harvest experience. Each cycle of growth should produce a rejoicing in the heart upon viewing the increase of understanding and fruit of Christ formed within the heart.
This reinforces why God exhorts us to resource His grace and truth, why God places such great value upon our labor with His knowledge that expresses Christ so perfectly and why this labor must be cognitive.
What double mindedness does is to put the mind on the wrong track, asking the wrong questions so that the counsel just given and reflected upon is subtly being rejected. The precious seed is being cast aside.
What is important to the double minded is the present thoughts that torment the mind. These “weed thoughts” have become “precious” and are not discerned because they are not being properly weighed. Let’s now weigh these questions (or thoughts) on the scale of Christ. I want to point out clearly how catastrophic backtracking takes place.
1. I understand that depression is because of the fall of man from God's Light. But if we labour with these tools of the covenant, why am I still experiencing these things?
2. Do I labour too little?
3. I have wondered if this is may be a judgment of God?
4. I know God's grace is sufficient, and it is the power of all powers, I just don't understand how one can keep feeling this way…
The questions remained even after God counseled the heart and reflections were made to set in order her thoughts according to Christ. What I want you to see is that whatever we decide to believe about anything will have a direct effect on our ongoing perception that will govern our choices and responses to further shape our expectation and experience. In this case, this person will surely sink further into despair and then depression.
Bad Decision-Makers Lack Reasoning Skills
Another manifestation of double mindedness that I want you to see is the lack of making a decision about what we’re being presented. Double mindedness is failing to call a spade a spade. In other words, looking at the weed seed and saying, This is not the precious seed, I don’t want to resource this thought pattern or value it.
Just as double mindedness is a lingering between 2 kingdoms, so also is it a hesitation to make a cognitive decision about the weed thoughts. In our example we saw that a person can be most willing to gain a new perspective and can think out the doctrine of Christ to know what the experience should be, but the presence of double mindedness is like a yo-yo, first planting the precious seed and then uprooting it again and not seeing this action taking place on account that a decision was not made.
An interesting note I made in another teaching, that I want to repeat here: “New research finds that we might magnify trivial decision’s—if we find it difficult and we spend a lot of time making it.”
I want you to consider what that means in regard to the importance of identifying our vulnerability. What happens when too much time is spent being vulnerable and not reflecting and making a decision based on that reflection?
Most of Satan’s arguments are emotional ones. Decisions based on emotions aren’t decisions at all, are they? They’re instincts. And when the instincts change, so do our emotions and we then question our decisions. We can now understand why the scale of the emotions a false scale.
When decisions are made by the emotions the deception present is in not realizing the thought that was believed should have been discarded.