I have said this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John16:33) For the Christian, OCD can be viewed as spiritual warfare. It is the enemy pressing tormenting fears upon us. We can’t prevent the fiery darts; […]

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“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1Peter 4:12 ) God tests those he loves with fiery ordeals. They may be outward afflictions, such as war, disease, or abuse; or they may be inner torments. As the psalmist […]

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A student came up with an unusual, yet effective, method for dealing with OCD. This young man had suffered from obsessional fears since childhood. He had received a good deal of therapy over the years, and had employed exposure and response prevention techniques with much success. When he came to see me, however, he was […]

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This difficult obsession can take many different forms. Common to all is an exaggerated fear of displeasing God by making something more important than Him. It’s a dread of violating the first commandment, if you will, by worshiping an idol. Take the case of a college student named Sylvia, a bubbly sophomore who is actively […]

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I’ve worked with half a dozen people over the last few years with the obsessional fear that they are too fat. One such person is Jen, a very pleasant young homemaker who is not considered overweight by anyone but herself. She is actually 5’ 5,’’ weights 130lbs, and in terrific shape, because she works out […]

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God purifies the faith of all Christians; and for OCD sufferers this process involves, more than anything else, enduring tormenting fears and uncertainties (see the last two blogs). On a clinical level, this purification represents a specific treatment for OCD. It’s helpful to see how it works. Such a therapeutic understanding helps us to understand […]

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“God has imposed the cross on all Christians to cleanse and to purge them well,” writes Martin Luther. One of God’s most painful crosses—one that Luther suffered himself—is the agonizing fear and uncertainty of what we now call OCD. We must understand that this disorder is for our good. Through it we are purified and […]

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Why do we have OCD? Well, we know that obsessive-compulsive disorder is a biological brain disorder, a dysregulation of the fear system. That’s helpful. It puts the matter in a proper perspective. Yet, it is not particularly satisfying. It does nothing to take away the sting of the disorder. Fortunately, as Christians we are given […]

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Jamie, a freshman in college, was referred to me by the student health service. She had developed a state of agitation: sleeping poorly, highly anxious, often tearful, and sometimes very withdrawn. She wouldn’t tell anyone the nature of her problem, except that she was having “terrible thoughts.” They had started after a party in her […]

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I worked recently with a student in his early 20’s who had suffered from mild OCD symptoms since his mid-teenage years. His obsessions, all involving contamination, had been tolerable; and his compulsions, such as washing his hands and showering excessively, took at most a half an hour a day. He had never actually realized he […]

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