I have heard the phrase of this title: “Religious OCD, or Christian OCD” for a while now. Something told me it was me. When I started understanding it, it glared back at me. Maybe you suffer from the same thing and don’t know it. OCD sufferers get caught in loops, and they are so commonplace, such a part of us, to stop it and step back takes tremendous effort. It is very necessary though. See if this fits you. A lot of Christians think mental disorders don’t exist, which is a very dangerous place to be. OCD Is actually just severe deceit from the enemy, and a brain that overworks itself to death in trying to fix and solve problems itself to the point of burnout.
Do you have fixations on a daily basis with any thought that causes you to doubt, over research, have fear and anxiety?
Do you get tripped up on thoughts that lead to a bad place, depression and defeat?
Do you feel obsessive over your salvation?
Do you worry you are always doing something wrong in God’s eyes?
Do you fear something is a sin but you are not sure, so you confess and repent too much for fear you will be away from God if you don’t?
Do you feel like you are not connected to God, and overcompensate by performance, having to do all the time, in order to prove yourself?
Do you have a stray issue in yourself you are aware of, but feel like if you don’t fix it now, you are doomed? God won’t accept you, you have to fix everything now?
Are you a perfectionist? You have to do everything in your life just so, including your thought life? If your thoughts are not perfect, you feel horrible all day.
I am unravelling this in myself. Before I started looking into this, I would wake up insecure every day, and feel that something is not right. I feel like I have to do certain things, act a certain way or I can’t relax.
The biggest example is the new studies I have embarked on the past three weeks. I bought three books and have devoured several videos. I read the books, but I have not took notes yet entirely, so I feel guilty and pressured when I don’t. It hangs over my head like a disease that I have to know all this information now, or I will miss something, I can’t utitilize it, etc.
Most people think OCD means you wash your hands too much, or have annoying habits, but it actually is more about your thoughts. You never feel at peace. You barely even realize it.
What is the answer? Starve it. Recognize the compulsion, pin it down and write it down. Next gently redirect the thought to: “I don’t have to feed this thought”. Then lay it aside. You will feel anxiety and fear come up in response to this, but push through it.
As I am learning: “OCD reveals our need for God’s unconditional love. It trains you to fix yourself, but God wants you to have His love first, and acceptance.”-Mark DeJesus
We have to tell ourselves we are loved as we are right now. Christians refuse to believe this, it is not just OCD Sufferers, but most of them will squirm at the thought that God accepts us, and loves us as we are. We are :”accepted in the Beloved”. Jesus did not die, so we could be worrisome, perfectionists that can never do anything right. Out of a place of acceptance from the Father, we can learn to relax, and live out of that. In turn, we become who we want to be so badly. Operating from a better place of God’s rest and love, and acceptance should be everyone’s goal. Beating yourself to death day after day is not what God wants from us.
OCD is always in a hurry to fix things. We are like: “Just give me the step, the next thing to do, and I will be fine, what is the outline?”. We have to be doing something all the time. This smacks me right in the face.
Our brains get overworked easily. so we have to pin down a few things to work on, and stick to it. It will not get solved in one day! This is a journey, and not a destination. That is painful, but true. It could take months to fix a problem. We are of no use to anyone if we are wound up tight and always looking for the next fix.
OCD is full of questions, and constant doubt. There is no peace, ever and we can’t accept ourselves until everything is right with us. That could take a lifetime, so why not work on one thing at a time?
OCD sufferers feel misunderstood. Our mantra is: “Yeah, but you don’t understand my problem, it is different!”. Yes, it usually is, but the answer at the end is always the same-rest in God, tell ourselves every day we are accepted. Fight through the feelings that will come up to resist it, and keep going.
I put my hand on my heart a few times every day, and be still. I tell myself: “God accepts me, He loves me where I am at, and he is with me now. This is biblical. You really feel a connection when you focus on your heart area, because you remember that the Holy Spirit was given to us. It brings your awareness to his presence.
In the beginning everything you do will not feel natural, it will feel wrong and disturbing and annoying, but stick with it.
OCD sufferers sadly are getting beat up by the enemy severely and do not realize it. They think it is them, but you are being used as a rag doll to over focus, over compensate and try too hard on everything, and every thought you have is scrutinized. I personally feel most things are accusing me, pointing back at me, that most things have meaning and is targeting me to cause guilt and shame. I thought that was what being a Christian was. I am furious now. Guilt, condemnation, are never from God! We read it, but we ignore it. Apparently we think the Bible just said stuff for the sake of saying it, and then our leaders are obsessive themselves and not resting in God or living out of a good place, so they throw the guilt and shame onto their congregation saying it is from God. This is wrong on so many levels!
If we think we will breeze through life being hateful to ourselves and others, and being wound up tight, and that we will relax WHEN we fix something, our lives will be over with before we even get to that point.
It can be painful to deal with ourselves, but any bad condemnation that screams at you, tells you how awful you are is just plain evil. Ignoring causes major issues. I did this forever, and it pushed me far away from God and made my life a living hell.
Facing it, accepting it, and slowly working to defeat it is the only way.
If you want to learn more of what I am learning go to Mark DeJesus YouTube Channel. Several videos, some an hour long on OCD is there along with other mental health videos.