(November 15, 2007)

In their book, New Light on Depression, David Biebel, C.Min. and Harold Koenig, M.D. wrote, “Love – unconditional love – is the ultimate long-term antidote for depression, for at its core love is connected with faith and hope.” I find this a powerful statement.

I believe that when we feel loved by our friends and by God, no matter what we do or say and when we love others in the same way all our emotional and spiritual needs end up being met, even if indirectly.

When we love and are loved unconditionally and non-judgmentally:

  • we feel good about ourselves
  • we feel secure
  • we care enough about ourselves to want to take good care of ourselves
  • we find out that it is more gratifying to give than it is to receive
  • we want to do our best to make our life count for something – to do God’s work
  • we are able to be more forgiving
  • we are encouraged in our faith in God
  • faith in God leads to having faith in what he provides, including medical treatment
  • faith in God leads to hope

No wonder Jesus said what he did: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40).

The Bible also says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

So much of our ability to deal with depression hangs on how we give and receive love.