How to love someone who’s depressed

Devin Stowers

Christians are not immune to depression, and given its prevalence, most of us probably know someone who’s depressed.

Loving someone who's dealing with depression can be difficult. But someone dealing with depression needs Jesus’s hope and our friendship more than ever. If you're wondering where to start, here are three ways we can love someone who's depressed.

1. Remind them what's true.

Someone who’s depressed often feels alone, unloved, and doubtful. When David feared for his life, Jonathan helped David refocus by reminding him of God’s strength and faithfulness (1 Samuel 23:15-18). Like David, our friends will never stop needing reminders of God’s faithfulness. Let’s encourage each other with the truth that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper (Numbers 23:19).

2. Be patient.

Depression rarely healed overnight. Be persistent in prayer and patient in person. To someone who’s depressed, questions like “Are you better?” and “Do you feel good today?” can sound like “Why aren’t you better yet?” In Psalm 40:1, we see David waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord while crying out to Him in prayer. Be patient while believing and expecting that the Lord will work all things for the good of those who love Him, including our friends (Romans 8:28).

3. Reach out regularly. 

Someone who's depressed needs relationships with Christians who aren’t afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, pray with them, or just hang out without any expectations. When we’re isolated from other Christians, it’s easier to believe that lie that we are unlovable, that no one cares. But when we’re consistently reminded of God’s faithfulness and promises, we remember that we are His beloved kids (Psalm 8:4-6). 

When Jesus looks at your friend or family member, He sees someone who needs His healing love. It's no accident you are in this person's life in this season. As Christians, we carry Jesus' presence and power in us. Strengthening and encouraging each other is what we're called to do (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13). 

The best gift we can give to someone dealing with depression is the same love and grace Jesus has given us. As we spend time with Jesus, we experience what it's like to be loved by him and have more of His love to give away to others (John 15:12-13, Proverbs 17:17).

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