OCD and Christianity

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children… No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Heb 12: 7-11

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is very painful.  It takes an OCDer to fully understand that.  Worries are one thing, but overwhelming, irrational fears that attack with no warning and force people into time-consuming rituals that they know are crazy even as they perform them – – well, that’s something else.  OCD is as painful as a physical illness like arthritis or a migraine.  It’s definite suffering, and it certainly is a hardship.

What’s the point of it?  For the secular individual, there is none.  It’s just another form of suffering to be avoided.  For the Christian, however, there is a point.  God allows the hardship of OCD to affect certain individuals in order to discipline them into coming to him.  This is the key to the Christian’s approach to OCD.

Through OCD we are to learn to trust in God.  This is extremely difficult to do in the moment an obsession strikes, because God seems nowhere around at that moment. Yet, we must recognize that we are being tried, and it’s for a reason. We must take the leap: “I’m going to label this asan obsession, and  I’m going to trust God.  I’m going to leave whatever happens in God’s hands, rather than doing my stupid compulsion.”

The blind faith that is necessary to turn to God when an obsessions strikes–when one has no sense of the presence of God on which to rely–is especially pleasing to God.  It’s what we must try to nourish. OCD is a disorder custom-made by God as an opportunity for us to grow in faith.  If we take the opportunity and persevere, we will without a doubt be rewarded with peace .

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