OCD and Christianity

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 is, he may confess and acknowledge himself to be such as he actually is).

We are unable to accomplish anything good by ourselves. It is critical for OCD sufferers to remember this— because we, more than anyone else, forget it. OCDers have a proven tendency to take “excessive personal responsibility for preventing harm.” They keep on trying over and over to prevent bad things from happening, even when it is clear that their fears are exaggerated and efforts are futile. Down deep, we OCDers are very prideful. We refuse to acknowledge our basic weakness and unrighteousness. That’s probably why the Lord allows us to be afflicted by OCD in the first place. An OCDer recently shared with me:

I had this profound idea come into my head after weeks of fighting my thoughts: ‘This is who you naturally are, and that’s why you need me.’ That was a great revelation to me. I’m still trying to digest it. I think God is really wanting me to let him do the fighting and let the spirit fight in me, because I’ve been fighting myself and I’ve been losing. 

Sarah Young in her popular devotional, “Jesus Calling,” puts it this way using Jesus’ words:

Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me…Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My power is made perfect in weakness.

“Latch onto Jesus in unashamed dependence.” That’s terrific. That’s what we OCDers need to do.



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