Faith has been an important piece of my recovery, hence the purpose of this series, Faith & Healing. One of the biggest ways it has been helpful for me has been the acceptance I experience at church. Yet the wisdom and guidance found not only in the life of Jesus Christ, but elsewhere in the Bible as well, has been important too. And one example of this is in the prohibition against false idolatry.
False idolatry shows up in many places in our current society. For example, we often see it with commercial success or other materialistic things. This of course is directly countered by the Bible and by Jesus when he says it is easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than it is for a wealthy man to enter heaven. This isn’t saying wealth itself is wrong in my opinion, but rather that the greed and financial idolatry that so often fuels it is.
For me however, it was never about wealth, but about human connections. My depression convinced me that there was something broken about me. It convinced me there was a darkness that would scare others away from me. And all around me I saw people that seemed so shiny, so well put together. And I idolized them.
Apart from the biblical problems with this, there were some major problems that ultimately fed my depression. First, no one is perfect and worthy of idolatry. Not seeing someone honestly, not realizing that they have their own flaws, makes it impossible for me to have a genuine connection with them. Similarly, my idolatry too often caused me to mirror them, and most people don’t want a bizarro mirror image of themselves to be friends with. The people who I have the most genuine connections with have seen my darkness, and rather than be scared away by that darkness, have stuck by me, for which I am forever thankful.
In a spiritual sense, this idolatry of others also took me away from my relationship with God, making it easy for my darkness to deny me His light. And along with that came the a negative, downward cycle for my depression and anxiety. Getting away from that false idolatry and getting back to the teachings of Christ has helped me be more centered.
Faith isn’t the only way to achieve this, and I don’t want anyone to think that I am saying God is the only for way for you. My faith works for me and my recovery. What works for you is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. My hope is that posts like this one help.
And until next time, be well.