Hope for a Depressed Thief, Part One


You have given me a great deal of information and first let me say that I know you are hurting. I want to assure you that the kind of depression you are experiencing is all too common and that I have great hope to offer you.

Just to list some of the information you gave me about why you are so depressed:

  • You were fired because you regularly decided not to show up for work. Aside from the legitimate excuses like your sudden illness and your car trouble, you admitted to skipping out on work numerous times to be with your girlfriend and sleep late because you stayed up watching TV and playing video games. This is not the first job you have lost because of this.
  • Your girlfriend has broken up with you saying your relationship was “too physical.” You have threatened suicide in an attempt to get her back.
  • Your parents want you out of their house because they say you do not help. Your church ministry and attendance is only because of house rules and even that has ceased despite pleas from your parents and pastor.

When I offer you hope, you should know that I am not talking about finding a place to live, landing another good job or getting your girlfriend back.

You claim to be a Christian. You certainly do have a good grasp of things that are in the Bible and can even point to a time when you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart.

Please follow through with what I am about to say. I am calling your profession of faith into question. I have one primary reason: Your life has shown a pattern of delighting most in the things that please you and you have consistently run from the consequences rather than turned from the sinful behavior.

Christians are not those who have prayed the right prayer but those who have turned from sin to Jesus Christ. That does not mean Christians are sinless but it does mean Christians do not live in sin. First John 1:5-8 says:

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

In the Garden of Eden (a story you know very well) Adam and Eve had one main passion: delighting in the living God and what he had provided (food, home, family, fellowship…). The first time that main passion was replaced (by a piece of fruit), the whole problem started. The Bible calls it idolatry and it shows up in innumerable ways among Adam’s kids.

In your case, the guilt you are feeling right now is in part because you are guilty of a specific kind of idolatry. It is called stealing. Let me explain.

To be continued...

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