An accountant explained to me how everything was great in her life except for one thing: She was tormented daily by a thought that she could not shake. It was the idea that she would face legal action for the one time in college when she cheated on a test. There were no consequences; it […]

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It is extraordinary how much OCD sufferers are controlled by fear. Consider how often your own decisions are based on it. If you think carefully, it is probably most of the time. For some OCDers, it is practically all the time. One business man told me, “It’s difficult for me to see how I could […]

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Christ payed the price for our sins, yet we remain sinners and basically inadequate. Martin Luther, in his commentary on Romans, stresses the importance of recognizing this truth. God wills that just as every man by himself is a liar, unrighteous, and weak outwardly (that is, before God), so he may become such inwardly (that […]

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“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7 KJV). These words can strike terror in OCDers. For many of us, if we are the thoughts that go through our minds, we are in deep trouble. Actually, if read in context, it is clear that Proverbs is not making a general statement […]

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Sometimes Christians with OCD are confused as to whether they should view their disorder as a clinical or a spiritual problem. On the one hand, OCD is undeniably a biochemical, physiological, dysregulation of the fear-system of the brain. On the other, it is an attack from an enemy who bombards us with thoughts we don’t […]

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Martin Luther used the term “Anfechtung” for the terrifying fears he experienced as a young man. There is no word quite like it in English. It implies more than simply fear and doubt—it carries the sense of an attack. It is sometimes rendered as “trial,” “assault,” or “spiritual struggle.” The worst of Luther’s fears would […]

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God allows some of us to have a fear-system disorder called OCD. Why would He do that? Martin Luther occasionally discussed the terrible anxieties he had suffered as a monk in the years before he experienced his reformation breakthrough—what we would now call clinical obsessions. For instance, he would again and again be struck by […]

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Our clinical understanding of OCD is a great development. Not long ago, a student told me about the moment when she first learned she had the disorder. She had struggled mightily with obsessions and compulsions throughout her childhood and adolescence—thoughts of harm and blasphemy tormented her almost constantly. I grew up living insane. No one […]

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It seems unfair that God allows some of his children to suffer for no apparent reason in terrifying uncertainty, fearing this disaster or that and never obtaining quietness of heart. Despite everything they do, their fears become only stronger. Trying their best to have faith in God, they are unable to feel his comforting word […]

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Most Christians would agree that faith is the most important thing. It’s what God wants of us the most. But faith is not what some people think it is: It is not simply to “believe;” not just accepting certain ideas as true. Rather, it is sure trust in all-powerful God’s mercy towards us. As put […]

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