Samaritan Counseling Center
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March 1, 2024
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We find ourselves living in challenging times today with many spiritual, psychological, and physiological struggles in almost every part of our lives. A study by the NIMH reports twenty-one million adults (8.4%) in the US have experienced a major depressive episode. While there can be many different causes it might be beneficial to address one which is significant for a number of people. This can be called a negative self-image or poor self-esteem, but it stems from a faulty sense of our self-worth. Sadly, some have misunderstood the words of Scripture which say, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you should” to say we should feel bad about ourselves. Society has taught us to see our value in what we do, how we look, or what we know but each of these standards fail us. The Apostle Paul challenges us to “not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Paul is advising us to “renew our minds” or in other words change our thoughts or self-talk.

Paul does not leave us with an admonition but gives us further guidance. He writes, “And now, Dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” He is recommending we begin to observe the good that is around us and in us. If you believe the Bible when it says, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” then have grace and mercy for your own flaws. Acknowledge your humanity and accept we all have flaws which have led to poor choices at times in our lives. As God has promised to forgive us when we acknowledge and seek forgiveness, we also need to forgive ourselves and not condemn ourselves.

Another exercise which will often help us to overcome depression and gain healthier self-esteem is getting involved with people or things outside ourselves. Volunteer, join a support group, become a mentor or anything which helps to take the focus off yourself and your issues and see the world as a wonderful opportunity to give and love others. This will take making a choice and not waiting to “just feel like it.”

There are many other steps we can take such as becoming physically active, ensuring adequate sleep, journaling, taking a vacation, and stopping our procrastinating about some of the things you have been wanting to do like cleaning out a closet, writing a letter, or finishing a puzzle. As you discover yourself becoming more active and involved you will find yourself feeling better about YOU! Be patient, have compassion for others and yourself, and remember we are all a work in progress.

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The Samaritan Counseling Center (SCC) is here to provide healing. A not-for-profit organization, we’re committed to providing fully-integrated, high quality, team-oriented, cost-efficient counseling and educational programming.

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