Thursday, November 15, 2007

Unconditional love

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.


SBWRITES said...

Inspirational post. I just went on amazon and ordered the book--something I've been meaning to do for months! Thanks for letting me know about it (again).


Merelyme said...

i believe this to be true. but how do you give when you don't feel anything or are so needy yourself? i have struggled with this a lot in my life.

marja said...

Thanks Susan. I think you'll enjoy that book.

Merelyme: Thanks for your comment. I think you need to feel you are loved to be able to love others. That's why having faith in a God who loves us unconditionally - no matter what - is so important. If we can truly believe that, we can gradually learn to give love to others as well. And to receive God's love, all we need is an open heart to receive it. If you can in faith ask him to fill you with his love, it will happen. That's what happened for me at the age of 42. My life has never been the same.