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Showing posts from November, 2009

Why worry?

Most Christians are familiar with the Apostle's Creed. It contains an affirmation which OCDers seem to have a great deal of difficulty with: "I believe in the...forgiveness of sins."

"Is this a sin?" "Is that a sin?" The anxiety with which some Christians ask that question about the minutia of their lives seems to call into question whether they really do believe that God forgives sins! The fact of the matter is that we can't go through a single day without sinning. In fact, we commit many of our sins without even realizing it!

Fortunately, we are justified (declared righteous) neither by maintaining a clean slate nor (as other OCDers seem to think) by the good work of confessing each individual sin and asking for forgiveness. We are justified by grace, for Christ's sake, through faith. A believer is judged perfect by God even when she commits a sin of weakness of which she is not aware, and even before she confesses it to God and asks for forg…

Feelings, nothing more than feelings....

Conscience is what we believe about right and wrong. It is not a feeling or emotion. People with OCD often react emotionally to a thought, and the biochemical flaw in their brains makes it "stick" in a way that makes them think that something perfectly innocent may in fact be a sin or be dangerous in some other way. The result is an obsession- an irrational response bearing no relationship to reality that we can't seem to shake.

In our society, we overvalue emotions. We even allow them to guide our decisions and attitudes. Since cognitive psychology tell us that emotions are biochemical responses to thoughts, that might not be as bad a thing for most people as it might be. But for people with OCD, the thoughts are often random and quite crazy. We might even be aware of its craziness if we only examine it. But instead, we listen to the emotion.

If you have OCD, never let your emotions tell you that something is wrong. Instead, identify and examine the thought that produces …