Blaming others in depression
When we are in depression, it feels so right to blame others; almost like a catharsis. Despite how it makes us feel better, it is never right. We will never be able to see things clearly when we are in depression. And we will end up hurting people who truly love us.
In the last blog, I mentioned how, in his depression, Jacob saw that everything was against him but that was not true. In the same verse, he also accuses of his sons, by declaring, “You have bereaved me.” (Genesis 42:36). In his depression, he thought Joseph was dead and even Simeon might have died in the prison. And, he blamed his sons for these losses.
Though his sons had played a part in the disappearance of Joseph, Jacob had no idea of that. For all he knew, Joseph was devoured by a wild animal. But if we look the Scriptures closely, we will see that the affliction suffered by Jacob due to the loss of his beloved son was his own making.
1. It was Jacob who sent Joseph to his brothers, when he knew pretty well that they were jealous of his beloved son and even hated him. (Genesis 37:4-13) Yet, he sent Joseph among them. Jacob would surely know about how the righteous Abel was murdered by his jealous brother, when they were alone in the field. Even Jacob himself had fled from his own brother. Yet, he sent his beloved son to meet his 10 very jealous brothers in the field.
2. Though the brothers schemed and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites, they never told their father that Joseph was murdered. Instead, they dipped the multi-coloured robe of Joseph, in blood of a goat and sent it to Jacob. As soon as he recognized the robe, it was Jacob who assumed that a wild beast had devoured his son, and was afflicted in his soul from that day one. Now, I am not a forensic expert. But Jacob was a shepherd all along his life. He would have been in the right position to realize that the blood scent was quite familiar – that of a goat. (I may be totally wrong here) But in his depression, he came to a conclusion fast; his faith on a bad news was so unshakeable.
3. Yet, he never sought the presence or the counsel of God, despite all the pain his heart was suffering. It only prolonged his pain. Probably even if he had sought the counsel of God, the Only Wise God would not have revealed His plan to Jacob, but He would have surely comforted him. Yet, Jacob did not seek Him, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac.
Even in the case of Simeon, it was Jacob who delayed his sons from returning to Egypt to secure the release of his imprisoned son. Since there was a delay, Jacob again assumed the worst and blamed his sons for that.
Dear friends, often we don’t realize that it was our mistakes, small or great, that lead us to the afflictions that we suffer. We may not know where we went wrong, but if we analyse ourselves in the light of Scriptures, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see that it was our fault all along the way. But, I know it is very difficult for someone in depression to accept that they were the one to be blamed for all the troubles. However, we can make sure we don’t blame others for our misfortunes.
And let us not jump to conclusions very fast. When some things go wrong, don’t assume the worst. For one Titanic that sank, there are hundreds of ships that cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. So, when things go wrong, wait till you know something for sure.
And finally, seek your Immanuel. Jesus is with us. When you seek Him, you will find Him. In your depression, do not blame others. Do not try to find who is to blame. Just try to find Jesus. May the God of all comfort, comfort you and deliver you.