Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life: Practical Wisdom from Richard Baxter by Michael S. Lundy with an introduction by J. I. Packer.
One of the strangest steps of faith I’ve ever taken as a pastor was telling a depressed Christian to stop reading the Bible. This Christian was in a terrible dark hole of depression and was tormenting herself every day by spending long periods ransacking the Scriptures for a verse that would cure her depression. She was frantic and desperate in her search and every day her “failure” only deepened her depression as she concluded that she must have been abandoned by God. It also left her mentally and even physically exhausted. Bible reading seemed to be harming rather than helping her.
Mind - Rest - Self-torture - Bible - Time
I felt that her mind needed a rest and that she would never recover unless she stopped this daily self-torture. That’s when I said that she should stop reading the Bible for a short time to let her mind rest and to rebuild her emotional reserves. Then she would hopefully be able to read the Bible again with profit. I wasn’t 100% sure it was the right course of action but it seemed like the only option. I did make sure her husband read a verse or two of Scripture to her every day but insisted that she was simply to listen during these seconds and then not think about it any more. Thankfully this strange strategy seemed to work within a couple of weeks. She gain a measure of mental relief, and before long she was able to read the Bible again for herself, just a verse a day to begin with, and not suffer for...