How often do you say to yourself, “I should…” or “I wish I hadn’t…” or even, “How could you…?”
I did that plenty for several decades. I still do that some, but thankfully, not as often.
Part of what contributes to depression is our stale thinking.
What makes it stale? Our words have the power to give life or death (Proverbs 18:21). When something is stale, it is on it’s way to a slow death, no longer full of life and freshness. So stale thinking is any thought that does not yield life, but pulls us down.
We have a saying in psychology: “Never should on yourself.” The “shoulds” and “should haves” are stale thoughts that bring with them feelings of guilt and regret and condemnation.
I am quicker now to pick up on such thoughts, turn them around, and align them with what God says. One of the most freeing verses for me is Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
While John 3:16 is a well-known verse, the next verse confirms for us His promise made in Romans 8:1, when it says “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
It was not His intent to condemn us, but to love us. So then why do I condemn myself? I am not perfect, will never be perfect, and God knew that before I was ever born. Setting ourselves us against a standard of perfection will breed discontentment and depression.
He sent the only perfect one who ever lived to take the sins of all the imperfect in the world and then looks at us through the righteousness of Christ Jesus.
Is there an area of your life that you “should” on yourself, engage in stale thinking, or at the very least, set unrealistic expectations?
Will you turn that over to Him today?