Focus: Guarding our ‘eye gate’
Ezekiel 33:11 As I live, saith the Lord God, I desire not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
It’s no secret that depression is rampant in the world today. France and the USA have the highest rates of depression and are closely followed by Brazil, Netherlands, New Zealand, Ukraine, Belgium, Columbia, Lebanon, and Spain—according to the first cross-country survey of its kind. The study was conducted by researchers from the State University of Stony Brook, New York, as part of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Initiative. WHO has also published ‘depression’ as the cause of suicide in an estimated 850,000 lives worldwide each year. Depression is known to be the fourth leading contributor to the world burden of disease.
Everyday–many people leave families, jobs, and responsibilities because they are unable to face overwhelming circumstances—they are depressed.
As human beings, we are able to encounter a considerable amount of trouble and stress and still be able to face ‘life’. Nobody tosses up their hands after a disappointing day or two. It takes a while for things to become that extreme. For someone to be at the point of giving up completely—layers of problems have piled up creating mountains in their minds. Mountains they are just too weak to climb anymore.
Can you relate to that? Have you been there—or are you there right now? Let’s assume one or the other of those questions is true, if you’re reading this.
Depressing thoughts come because of many reasons. We know the largest contributing factor to major depression is relationships. Some things about relationships may be out of our control—except for a miracle. But, let’s shift our focus to things we are able to control. If you are suffering from depression, it is critical during this time to protect yourself in any way possible from things that may be making conditions worse for you. One important thing you should be able to monitor is what comes into your mind through your eyes everyday—what you see.
Sight is a very unique sense. Sometimes, we are forced to see things we would rather not see. At times, you might be able to close your eyes to avoid seeing an undesirable sight. But in most cases, a negative image has already made it into your mind when you make the decision to avoid seeing any more of it.
When you are struggling for your sanity—you have to guard your ‘eye gate’. It is a doorway to your mind. To some degree, you can control part of what goes in. Think about what kinds of things you are allowing yourself to see. What are you letting into your mind through TV? How about the internet, books, magazines, newspapers? Take an honest inventory of the type of images you allow into your mind through your eyes and how much time you let yourself to see them.
On one recent evening, my husband and I were interested in picking up a movie to watch. We stopped at a store where there was a movie vending machine outside and browsed the available films. It was shocking for us to see how few wholesome, ‘feel good’ movies were offered. I would estimate 80% of the genres were horror, suspense, thriller, and crime related. We walked away empty handed. The Bible says laughter does good like medicine. Often, it’s hard to find positive entertainment you can just laugh about—even when you’re trying.
But, sometimes we’ve stopped trying and we’ve fallen into a trap of willingly subjecting our minds to reading novels that take our thoughts in wrong directions—or looking at magazines or internet sites that are, let’s just say it—full of wicked images we should not be looking at. A large amount of negative and insulting material comes into the average home ‘by choice’…because we have become so dull of even considering what we are ‘letting in’.
In fighting depression and dependency, we need to have the courage to change the things we can–in order to keep moving forward in our recovery. If you want a balanced, healthy mind and outlook—challenge yourself to fill your ‘eye gate’ with the Word of God and other materials that agree with God’s ways.
Declaration: I will find new strength by not watching or reading things that disagree with God’s Word. I will become more disciplined in changing channels, walking out of movies, exiting internet sites, putting away books and magazines, and turning my eyes away from negative images that won’t help me keep moving forward.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.
To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL99DD24252779F715&feature=view_all