Five Keys to Dealing with Depression

Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., author of “Five Keys to Dealing with Depression,” creates a framework for the reader to identify the key indicators of depression in laymen’s terms.   He also provides a list along with an explanation of how certain medical and health conditions can make one susceptible to depression or depression-like symptoms.  Jantz employs a “whole person” approach recovery methodology. This approach consist of five aspects: intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, and physical.  As each aspect of the “whole person” approach is explored, the contrast between balance and unbalance is emphasized.

Throughout this publication, there are sidebars that contain Bible passages with an insert of reassurance of God’s love and promises.  Some of these sidebars are used to remind the reader of God’s commandments regarding our conduct as Christians.  Scenario based examples are utilized to illuminate patterns, behaviors, frequency, and severity.  Jantz suggests a variety of activities to counteract the imbalances.  He does not suggest that medication is not an option, but remarks that studies reveal the healing process improves significantly when therapy is accompanied with medication.

I believe the book serves well from a self-awareness perspective.  I was disappointed that the sidebars were not expounded upon more.  This book is primarily focused on depression and its symptoms with common suggestions to counteract negative behavior.  It is not a book on how to deal with depression from a scriptural viewpoint. Any spiritual content utilized is more of a sidebar or afterthought.  I believe I would appreciate the book more if there was a marriage of godly principles and common counteractive methods interwoven throughout the book.

This book is ideal for those who may show signs of depression and is useful in identifying key indicators of depression.  Because it offers helpful insight it could be used as a resource for supporting those exhibiting behavioral patterns of depression.

The Job Series: The Oppressed Christian

In the prior two chapters of the Book of Job, we are given a profile of Job. Job was the upright and blameless man from Uz, who shunned evil (Job 1:1, NIV). He was a family man with one wife, three daughters, and seven sons (Job 1:2, NIV). He had substantial wealth in livestock (500 yokes of oxen, 500 donkeys, 3,000 camel, 7,000 sheep) and many servants (Job 1:3, NIV). Although the Bible does not provide a full list of Job’s possessions, by calculating the amount of livestock alone would be over 5 million dollars in modern day. His wealth most likely would have exceeded that amount due to numerous servants on his payroll, land ownership, and agriculture as he probably grew his own grains and vegetation.

Despite being blameless in God’s sight, Job would endure hardships. The Sabeans would rob Job of all his oxen and donkeys then killing Job’s servants except for the eyewitness who alerted Job (Job 1:14-15, NIV). Lightning would strike killing and disintegrating Job’s sheep and shepherds only sparing the observer that would testify about the event to Job (Job 1:16, NIV). The Chaldeans would raid and rob Job of his camels killing all except one bystander who would inform Job (Job 1:17). A great wind destroy Job’s eldest son’s house causing it to collapse killing all of Job’s children and servants except witness who would notify Job (Job 1:18-19, NIV).

 All of these events happen in succession to one another. As each eyewitness proceeded to describe an event, they were interrupted by another servant reporting more bad news. Under these overwhelming circumstances, Job did not curse God. He responded in worship and sinned not (Job 1:20-21, NIV). At a later time, Job would be inflicted with painful sores all over his body (Job 2:7, NIV). Job’s wife advised Job to curse God and die (Job 2:9, NIV). Yet, Job did not curse God and was willing to accept the bad after receiving the good from God (Job 2:10-11, NIV).

In the Book of Job, Chapter Three, surrounded by his friends Job breaks the seven day long silence by cursing the day of his birth. Now, Job is obviously depressed an exhibits a blatant disregard of God’s creation of himself by verbalizing his blasphemous thoughts aloud. The entire chapter covers Job’s monologue in which Job becomes quite liberal with his curses. This is exemplified by Job’s irrational and absurd petitions to have his birthdate blotted out from the calendar (Job 3:6, NIV), for his mother’s womb to be sealed (Job 3:10, NIV), and calling upon soothsayers to have the Leviathan swallow the day of his birth (Job 3:8, NIV).

This chapter is a perfect illustration of the battlefield of the mind. God has given Satan legal access to dwell in the domain of spiritual darkness. This means that Satan has the ability to navigate in any area of darkness, even the darkness that still exists in a Christian. We may be able to empathize with Job’s trials; however, his behavior by cursing his own existence does not honor God. Satan used crimes, murders, and natural disasters in an attempt to have Job curse God. Although Satan was unsuccessful in his quest to have Job curse God, he was able to oppress him to the point of cursing his birth. Job had hit a crossroad of a faith. He could either give up and curse God or trust God and wait to be restored. Will we still trust God in times of calamity? Is God seeking us?