Recently this blog came across my path and inspired me to write about depression from a Christian Science perspective. In the aforementioned blog, this idea stood out: “The opposite of depression is not happiness but vitality.” I realized this is important because ‘happiness’ is subjective. But vitality—being essential—is actually divinely scientific and logical. Here’s why.
Vital from the start
Christian Science taught me that it’s important to know, from the get-go, we’re each eternally vital —essential to God’s universe! The basis for this idea is the fact that God, Spirit, created us from Spirit’s image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-27). We reflect Spirit, or divine Mind. Therefore we’re Mind’s outcome and manifestation. In other words, we’re divine Mind’s activity expressed. Knowing this helps us realize why we’re essential. Our individual expression of God’s intelligence and goodness shines the light of God’s harmony and love on other people.
The Bible helps me understand and unpack this beautiful idea. Scripture tells us we’re all children of God. As a child of God this means our roots, our true being, is found in our eternal source of being—Spirit, Soul. Because Spirit is our Life, happiness and bliss is found through spirituality, not materiality.
By accepting and understanding these spiritual facts, we can also understand we aren’t powerless when aggressive, dark thoughts come to mind. We’re safe because God, Spirit, is all-powerful and is forever good and loving. In turn, we can lean on God when we feel knocked down, sad, lost, or even depressed. By turning to Spirit, Soul, and acknowledging spiritual facts about ourselves we can rise out of the darkness and despair and start winning through the power and activity of Soul.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Depression is powerless against Soul’s all-power
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, faced down many difficulties by relying on God. She found freedom from both chronic illness and despairing fear. She found strength by looking to Jesus’ perfect example, not as God, but through the perfection he expressed as the Christ—the expression of God’s power—which is present with all of us and can lift us out of every difficulty.
So you can, too—you’re empowered now by Christ—God’s power and healing love!
As God’s children, we’re empowered through our reliance on Soul’s, divine Love’s, mighty power to save us from false concepts that lead toward fear, anxiety, and sadness. We can conquer these depressing beliefs and feelings by holding them in subjection to God’s law of harmony. Here are several steps we can take—not as a formula but as helpful ideas:
- Acknowledge Love’s total power and goodness.
- Acknowledge that you’re essential to Love’s design—the universe—by expressing love toward yourself and others.
- Watch your thinking—be alert to thoughts that deny your goodness, or devalue you. Because God values you then you know these thoughts are not your thinking and you have the right and power to expel these thoughts.
- Actively affirm your unbroken relationship to God.
- Take time to pray for yourself.
- Be willing to ask for help.
- Let go of the shame—God’s not shaming you, so you don’t need to either.
And as I Timothy says, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7 ).” This is what you’re made of — the good stuff and only the best! This is because everything you are comes from the one source of good, and what good is, is the best.
Heirs of the same immortal bliss,
Our hopes and aims the same,
In bonds of love our hearts unite,
To praise His holy name.
So may we all with one accord
Learn how true Christians love;
And glorify our Father’s grace,
And seek that grace to prove.
—Christian Science Hymnal, Hymn 266:3-4