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“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7

One popular story of Jesus is about a man who was robbed on a business trip.  He was left badly beaten by the side of the road. 

You would expect someone to stop but the first two people walked by without offering help. Finally, another business man came along the lonely rough road, found the man and tended to his wounds.

You may know the story as the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Who are we in the story?

One of the two who walked by?

The rescuer?

A beaten up business man?

Depression beats us up leaving us by the side of the road. Why did the robbers attack the first business man?  No one knows.

Why do we suffer from depression?  It may have been a situation that caused you great grief and has left you tearful and sad.  Perhaps it is a flaw in the DNA that controls your biochemistry.  You may have inherited it.  Often there seems no reason.

One of the questions that haunts us is,  “Why?  Why me?  Why now?”

Depression happens to us because of complex reasons that medical scientists don’t even understand.

Depression leaves  us feeling overwhelmed, worthless, and hopeless.  We are left by the side of the road, battered, and broken.

There will be people who like the two different men that pass by.  They may say, “Cheer up!”  “Get over it!”  “You must like being sad all of the time.” Short little epithets that only show they don’t understand.

It is hard to understand if you haven’t experienced the darkness.  And it is hard to watch people going along with the business of life bypassing you.  Sometimes the people who walk away are people you care about and who you thought cared about you.

But maybe you can be the merciful stranger to yourself!

You aren’t the kind of person that “beats” up others.  We say things to ourselves we would never say to someone else. Please, don’t beat yourself up.

Things like,  “This is going to last forever.  “Everything is hopeless.”  “There is no way out.”  “I’m worthless.”

Please, don’t beat yourself up.

Treat yourself with kindness.  Treat yourself with mercy. 

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; “ Colossians 3:12 

Do these things for yourself and then you can do them for others.

“God, help me to have mercy on myself today.”


How would you act toward someone who is depressed? Is this how you treat yourself?

In what ways has depression made you feel like the beaten man in Jesus’ story?

What have been the most helpful things said to you?

Is there someone you know you could help?

Published inDevotionals