You know, it’s fairly easy to follow the “deception leads to depression” truth. There are many false teachings that have lead people astray and when they find out that what they have been taught just DOES NOT WORK, they are devastated.
Take, for example, the false prosperity teachings. Jim calls them “love of money” teachings. Most of these are based on a formula of sowing and reaping, e.g. sowing money equals reaping money. But this teaching has been taken so out of context and when people eventually find out that their giving should not be tied to monetary gain, they are often angry at first, and then depressed. Why? Because they have been schooled in the teaching that if they give money, they will reap money…. And not just what they have sowed, but a 30, 60 or 100 fold return! Do you think there’s a little greed in there!?
So, after they have emptied their savings, and given “sacrificially” into financial ruin or in extreme cases, even bankruptcy (all the while, standing on scriptures that they thought would bring them financial gain), they eventually collapse in despair. The Bible calls this ‘shipwreck.’ When faith is shipwrecked, it can even cause a falling away, heaven forbid. (1 Tim 1)
It’s not only the prosperity teachings that are causing people to be deceived and eventually depressed. It’s any teaching or practice that doesn’t line up with a balanced and thorough Biblical perspective.
It’s time that we stopped listening to every ‘wind of doctrine’ and get into the Word for ourselves. When you study the Word for yourself, and take all of it without picking and choosing what you want to hear, you will be much less likely to be deceived. We also have to get past our bitterness and blaming! We are accountable for our own understanding!
So, let’s get on a solid foundation. Let’s not be blown about by everything we hear or be devastated when it doesn’t pan out like we thought it would. There are many issues that we will face from now until Jesus returns, most of them are issues of our own hearts, and on those we should meditate.