Is it a sin to be depressed?

Psalm 3:1,3 – O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me…But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

At some point, even the godliest person experiences discouragement, and even depression. This is a normal part of the Christian life, and something many people battle like a dark shadow. 

In the book of Psalms, the largest category is “lament”, people who are discouraged, fearful, and even depressed processing their emotional struggles in prayer and song. There’s even an entire book of the Bible called “Lamentations”, and entire sections of books of the Bible like Jeremiah that explore the depths of spiritual depression and lamenting. 

In some Christian circles, it is expected that a mature Christian would only smile and pretend that every day was Christmas. However, if you have battled spiritual depression, you stand with spiritual giants like Martin Luther, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and Abraham Lincoln. 

Martin Luther “was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair”, and Charles Spurgeon battled a kind of “causeless depression” which, he said, “is not to be reasoned with…You might as well fight with the mist as with this shapeless, indefinable, yet all beclouding hopelessness.” (1)

Look up the following laments in Scripture to learn more about processing spiritual depression: Psalm 3, 10, 13, 17, 31, 42, 43, 60, 79, 80, 94, 102.

  1. Unmasking Male Depression: Recognizing the Root Cause of Many Problem Behaviors, such as Anger, Resentment, Abusiveness, Silence, Addictions, and Sexual Compulsiveness (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001), 17.

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