Vijay was depressed. His life had hit rock bottom. As he turned to God and read the Bible a verse gave him hope: “Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). The two major causes of Vijay’s depression were unresolved grief and emotional detachment. He realised God could heal him and help him put his life together.
The first step is ‘seeking God’s righteousness,’ not our own.’ However, seeking God’s righteousness involves believing that on the basis of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, God has forgiven all our sins or karma. God accepts us on the basis of what Jesus did, and we are declared “righteous” by God (Rom. 10:4). Now we also need to live out that righteousness in our inner life and outer relationships. When we struggle at work or relationships, we look to God to bring change and God does answer. The implications of this are twofold:
First, some of the things we want from God are fruits of our becoming more mature and righteous as we work with him. If we don’t possess these things, the reason may be that we are not changing and growing in the needed ways. Second, God often only gives us things we are mature enough to use. As we grow in seeking His kingdom and righteousness, guess what? Emotional wellness is “given” to us, just as God has promised.
Changing means turning from doing things our way to doing things God’s way. We have to learn to be honest about ourself and our feelings and stop hiding our hurts. We have to learn how to confront difficult people and to stop trying to control others. We have to learn to delay gratification. The list could go on. But the point here is that having the life and the growth we’re looking for involves our changing into people who do things God’s way. God not only declares us righteous but also helps us live a righteous life.