Q: I have OCD with really bad thoughts. I find myself condemned, guilty, and depressed. Will God forgive me?
A: God looks at the heart and at our intentions. Obviously, these are not thoughts you want to have, and God sees that. Asking for forgiveness is something we should all ask for when we pray. However, you aren’t losing your salvation every time you have these thoughts. In Romans 8:33-34, the Apostle Paul states: "Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us." If you are united with Christ, there is no condemnation, not even from yourself. This is a great passage to meditate on:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that many people, including Christians, struggle with. I believe that God only judges us for sins (actions) that we do rebelliously with a high hand. We all have distorted and even very strange thoughts that we can’t control. I believe God fully understands our limitations. We have broken bodies and broken minds that are the result of a fallen creation. The Bible calls these infirmities—they aren’t sins, but physical and mental conditions.
Find a Christian counselor who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a counseling approach that can help you manage your thoughts and moods. Here is another article about OCD from a Christian perspective. Also, below are some book recommendations that might be helpful. —T.A.
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This information is given with the understanding that the author is not rendering medical or legal advice. This is provided for educational purposes only. Names and identifying information have been omitted.