Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Demonic Attempt to Return the Church to One Language

The Pastor's statement startled me.  He said, "The name, 'Jesus,' has no power."  

Sitting across the table from me as we ate a post service meal among the other congregants, and seeing my jaw drop, he continued, "I've seen this name work many times, but once you know the truth about it, the name 'Jesus' will no longer have power for you."

The "truth" the Pastor was trying to convey was that because "Jesus" is not the original given name of the Messiah, that is, the name He was called in His native language, the modern English name, "Jesus" does not have the power of His "real" name. Though, he conceded, that God will honor the English name Jesus when used in prayer until the Believer knows this "truth" and has the opportunity to change to his original name.

He further explained, others present chiming in supporting this view, that the Messiah's original name is the Hebrew name that was also shared by Joshua ("Joshua" also being an English translation), the son of Nun, the leader of Israel just after Moses, and that the English name,  "Jesus" had been transliterated through several languages, from the Hebrew, to the Greek, to Latin, to the old English and finally to the name we use in modern English today.

He then showed me an original King James Bible which predated the revised version most people use, which showed Jesus' name as "Iesus," the letter "I" in the place of the "J" we now use.  He said that the letter J had only been part of the English language for 400 years or so, and thus the modern name English speakers use is yet farther away from the original pronunciation.  His argument was that because the name Jesus had been transliterated multiple times to our present-day English form meant that the name had been perverted so far away from the original that God would not acknowledge this name for His Son.

Then the Pastor played a bit of a trick on me.  While we were talking he called me, "Robert," (though my name is Doug) waiting for me to react.  I didn't say anything when he did so because we had only just met and I didn't want to embarrass him.  Moments later he asked me how I liked being called a name other than my own, positing that this is what we're doing when we call the Son of God, "Jesus."  

(Note, he also would have avoided using the word "God,"as I just did, because according to many Hebrew roots and Messianic Believers, God also is not the true name for the Father, rather "Elohim."  It is true that the word translated God is derived from the Hebrew word, "Elohim," but does this fact make the English translation,  "God," off limits, too?  With this blog I'm focusing on the use of the name "Jesus," but the conclusion should also apply to the use of the word "Elohim" in the stead of God., as well as the use of "Jehovah" in place of "The Lord.")

I have also read other arguments that the name Jesus in fact is a transliteration for "Hail Zeus," and thus should not be used to call on the only begotten Son of God, but more on this later, as this Pastor did not make this claim.

My initial reaction to all of this was that calling the Messiah "Jesus" is simply our, that is, the English speaking world's, translation of His name.  I was reminded of when I have moved among Hispanic circles, I have often been called, "Doo-glaws," though my name in English is pronounced more like, "Duh-gliss." However, the spanish pronunciation did not bother me in the least, in fact I found it endearing to hear my name spoken with this different pronunciation unique to the Hispanic culture.

Since then, I have also considered the fact that inasmuch as I have been exposed to the Messianic movement through the years, I never latched onto calling the Messiah "Yeshua" which is often used (and now I've been introduced to a name some believe to be more accurate, "Jeusha."  Joshua would have been called this as well).  The name, "Yeshua," felt foreign to me, as does Jeusha.  I don't know God's Son as Yeshua or Jeusha, but as Jesus.  (I also don't know Joshua as Yeshua or Jeusha either.  This particular congregation used the original Hebrew names for every name and book in the Bible., and on several occasions I had no idea of where to turn in my Bible or about whom they were speaking, even though I would know just where to go if the English version of the names were read.)

Now, I must admit that after calling Him Jesus for many years, using a different name (for Jesus, the Father, or any other Bible character) could take some adaptation on my part (which I would gladly undergo if it were indeed necessary), but nevertheless, during the eighteen or so years I've known the Messianics to call Him Yeshua, I haven't found myself calling Him that very often.  On occasion, and when among others who do so, yes, but for the most part I've stuck with the name Jesus, especially in my own private worship.

As I consider how foreign calling Him Yeshua or Jeusha still feels, my thoughts take me back to the Tower of Babel, where God scrambled the language of earth's inhabitants.

Genesis 10 "1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. ... 4 And they (the people) said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one languageand this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."

Here at Babel, God was concerned that man's evil devices could and would be accomplished if they maintained one language as all people would be able to continue to pool their knowledge and resources together.  Creating many languages and "downloading" them into the people of that day actually produced a division that God wanted and caused them to obey His initial instruction, that is, to scatter abroad and populate the earth, rather than all congregating in one place.

Just how many languages are there then?

"The most extensive catalog of the world’s languages, generally taken to be as authoritative as any, is that of Ethnologue (published by SIL International), whose detailed classified list as of 2009 included 6,909 distinct languages" ( 

Since Babel, many people, therefore, unless they are gifted to bridge the gap of foreign languages, have a very hard time speaking and understanding just one the multitudes of languages which are not their own.   And even when people do speak second and third languages well, their capacity to do so is most often a far stretch from feeling at home in their non-native languages.  Even capable foreign language speakers feel more at home in their native language.

As I have been writing this blog, I have had the opportunity to be among many foreign language speakers.  Over Thanksgiving I was blessed to dine with 10 lovely people from Haiti, all of whom spoke French as their first language, but being well educated, they also spoke English better than most native English speakers I know.  My question to them was, would you want to be married to someone who didn't share French as their first language?  I asked that seemingly unrelated question trying to get at how they felt in terms of sharing the most intimate earthly relationship with someone who didn't speak their native language. The initial reaction, laughing, was that it would be great because then they could talk about their spouses behind their backs and they wouldn't know! HA! But after some serious thought, they all unanimously agreed they would prefer someone who spoke french so they could share that greater level intimacy that sharing a first language with a spouse would bring. 

I also asked a serious Believer who was there who is actually a professional translator, and who leads prayers very well in English, the language in which she prays to the Father when alone.  Her reply was, in French, her first language.  French, of course, is the place of closeness with God for her because this is the language in which she automatically operates, and of course where she feels more at home in her communications with God.

And, why not? It is by God's purpose and design that we have this comfort in our native languages.  That being the case, why would He have us speak His name in another language in which we are not at home if God was the one who purposely scattered the languages to begin with?  I believe this explains why I have never felt totally comfortable calling Jesus "Yeshua" or the Father "Elohim."  Hebrew is not my home language any more than Spanish, and in the case of Spanish, I have had occasion to learn and speak it on an elementary level, but even calling Jesus the Spanish version of His name, which sounds like "Hey-soos," still feels foreign, and it's by God's design that it does.

Let us consider the treatment of a few other personal names between Spanish and English that I think illustrates the point that names, when they cross into other languages and cultures, take on different pronunciations.  

"Robert" in English is "Roberto" in Spanish, Patrick = Patricio,  George = Jorge,  James = Jaime, and so on.  These names, while being loyal to their roots, take on a feel more appropriate for the language in which they're spoken.  The words, though having the same meaning in both languages, take on a feel native to their own language and culture.

And while the English name for the Messiah did not exist in its current state until the 1600's when the use of the letter J began, this does not change the fact that the letter J is now in use and that many names have taken on that letter without corrupting the original intent of those names.  

The English names, John and James, are written Juan and Jaime in Spanish, but both J's in Spanish are pronounced as somewhat diminished H's, resulting in a pronunciation that sounds more like, "Huhwan," and "Hi-me".  No one is offended when in English these names are transliterated, "John" and "James" with the J pronounced sharply and the ending of James adding the s consonant that's not even present in Spanish.

No one is up in arms with these differences, because, while pronounced differently the modern English derivation has not taken on some sort of evilly purposed transliteration.

Why all the fuss, then, about the name Jesus?

As mentioned before, some believe (though this Pastor did not) that the name Jesus is derived from the greek for "Hail Zeus." 

If Jesus is a modern version of this greek compound, then we should indeed discontinue its use because we certainly don't want to use the name of a Greek pagan demonic deity when calling call on the true Son of God.

But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, let us first do a study of how "Hail Zeus" would have been said and written in Greek and compare that to the way the word English speakers now use for the Messiah, "Jesus" was also said and written in the Greek.

The word "Hail" in the greek texts of the new testament is actually a two (possibly three) syllable word that sounds nothing like "hail." Here's the Strong's definitiion:

Strong's Number:   5463  
Original Word
Transliterated Word (how it would be written in English)
Phonetic Spelling

"Hail Zeus," therefore, in greek would be said, using English phonetics, "Khah-ee-ro Zeus."

Whereas, Jesus' name, as written in the greek is:

 Strong's Number:   2424  
Original Word
Transliterated Word
Phonetic Spelling
One can quickly discern that the "Ie" in "Iesous" when transliterated from the original greek "ÅIh" has nothing to do with the greek word for Hail, "Cha-i-ro."

Also take note that the second syllable for Jesus is actually transliterated "sous" from the original greek: sou'ß.
Only two of the letters even match the letters for Zeus, the transliterated u and s.
So not only does the first syllable not contain the greek word for, "hail," but the second syllable isn't even reflective of Zeus.

Therefore, the original Greek translation of Jesus' name in no way reflects "Hail Zeus." 

Our current English version "Jesus" stems from this Greek form.  Sure the J has replaced the I, and the second syllable, "sus," though adopting a "z" sound for the first consonant s, is pronounced with the short u sound, "uh", rather than the longer u sound, "oo" as found in "Zeus".

There's just no way around the fact that "Jesus" in no way reflects a "Hail Zeus" meaning when it is easy to identify how it was derived from the original Greek, especially since the word for "hail" is so different. So, here we have a false argument.

Over the years I have heard many Messianic Believers say "Yeshua Hamashiach" in an effort to stay faithful to the original Hebrew.  I have no problem with that.  If this is how native semitic Hebrew people say (and said) His name, more power to them.  But I am not going to defy God's very own judgment by forcing myself to be multi-lingual when it was He who gave us the differing languages in the first place.  If our language translates Yeshuah Hamashiach as Jesus Christ, who am I to go against that, especially since the name has no pagan root?

And to my earlier point about enjoying the Hispanic pronunciation of my own name, God may also enjoy having his name said in a variety of pronunciations as long as they all maintain the same meaning.  He obviously has no trouble whatsoever navigating the languages (He invented them!) and has no trouble with us calling Him His name in our own language. 

I will say, however, that if there was any truth to Jesus meaning, "Hail Zeus," I would discontinue calling Him Jesus post-haste (just has I have years ago stopped honoring Christmas, Easter, and Sunday Sabbath which all have their roots in paganism), but since such is not the case I will not do so, and  will continue to call Him "Jesus" with the utmost confidence in His English name, and in the power of it.  

Therefore, those who say there is no power in the English name of Jesus risk hurting the faith of those who,  in submission to God's will that the language of the peoples of the earth be divided, do not feel comfortable saying the Messiah's name in a language which is foreign to them.  Being pressured and ultimately forced to do so can make the worshipper feel as if God is distant and foreign and decries the fact that there are other languages and cultures outside of the Hebrew, when it was God who created those differences through the confounding of the original language at Babel.  The gap that needs to be bridged between cultures is the one that has to do with the stopping of sin through the adoption of obedience to God's commandments, not in the adoption of the Hebrew language, traditions and culture which are separate from how we are supposed to live according to Biblical mandates.  Therefore, the Yeshua (or Jeusha) only name movement is in error, and God is not happy with this, especially inasmuch as it can discourage intimacy between Himself and His people within the confines of their own languages.

One final thing to remember about the Yeshua or Jeusha only movement is that it is actually a point of pride and superiority exhibited by Hebrew Roots and Messianic Believers.  It's like saying the Jewish/Hebrew language and culture, and as a consequence, the Jewish/Hebrew people's way of speaking and behaving culturally are superior to others.  This is far from the truth as what makes anyone a superior person is the keeping of God's commandments, not the absorption of an earthly human language or culture.  Yes, God honored the descendants of Abraham by giving them His Word, but His Word is what we are supposed to adopt, follow, and keep, not necessarily a language, traditions, or cultural underpinnings that are outside of the simple obedience to God's commands, i.e., there is no command stating, "Thou must speak Hebrew to know me."

God created us all, and as Jesus warned the Jews of His day, God could make followers of Him from the very rocks.  God has even used people from the "heathen" nations to draw them to jealousy.  We must watch for the slow creep of pride, intellectual, spiritual, and otherwise, from taking over and causing us to create division where there shouldn't be.  

I've noticed another pattern, too, with Hebrew language adopters, that they are all highly intelligent, intellectually gifted, and almost scribe like in their pursuit of the study of God's Word.  I am not trying to diminish this pursuit, we all should be studiers of God's Word, but sometimes intellectual gifting like multilingualism can become points of pride, and also something that they expect everyone else to possess.  But each of us have different gifts, and the gift of foreign language abilities can lead a person to appear smarter than others (which is not the same as wiser), and thereby lift the person up in pride, and worse still, to then become a mediator between God and other worshippers.  This is very offensive to God inasmuch as God wants to know and lead each one of us individually and does not intend for any kind of language gap to stand in the way.  It is unfair to those who don't share an interest in foreign language studies to have to take a back seat to those who do.  God is not looking for the intellectually gifted, he is looking for the obedient.  Intellectual gifts that are often shrouded in narcissism and a know-it-all spirit very often stand in the way of that person truly knowing God, and can hinder others from getting closer to God if that person is given too much credit and then acts as a go-between.

Leadership's goal should be to lead a person to a closer walk with the Father, not into positions where language experts act as default mediators because the only way to God becomes through them and their way of breaking down the Word.

In conclusion, Jesus name users are not in error and are not to be belittled because they are more comfortable in their own language.  God is equally comfortable in all languages and has no problem with us using Jesus as His name since it has no pagan roots and is a derivative of his real name.

All languages came from the mind of God. If the name Jesus has no pagan origin, but is simply a "transliteration", even across multiple languages, and this is how He is known to us, not foreign, but accessible, the Creator of all mankind, then we should use that name without reservation, venerating it as it is the english name of the only begotten Son of God.

One final note, when the wicked take the name of the the Lord in vain in English, they say "God damn" or "Jesus Christ" (forgive using the expressions here, but I only do so for this illustration.)  Why would they do so .if the names used weren't really names attributed to God? People's of the English speaking world would say "Elohim damn" or "Yeshuah Hamashiach" in taking God's name in vain if that were the only way to call on God, but they don't because people don't curse God's name in a language that is not their own.  And guess what, God is just as offended when the English versions of His names (or any other language's versions) are taken in vain as He is in the original Hebrew, and this is why demons encourage sinners to do so!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Strange Bedfellows of Depression and Self-Centeredness

Starting Note

Before I begin this blog on depression as relates to self-centeredness, I want to acknowledge that sadness and grief can result from many real and valid causes: the loss of a loved one or friend, the ending of a relationship, physical and mental abuse, loneliness, addiction to drugs and alcohol, unfulfilled or shattered dreams, physical pain and impairment, and the list goes on.  But for the purposes of this blog, we are addressing how continuous depression, however initiated, and when sustained beyond the "normal" grieving period, can be directly related to self-centeredness and its close relative, self-pity.  I just want to be sure that the reader understands that this blog is not meant to discount the validity of anyone's grief, or to say that a Christian should never experience grief or mourning or sadness, only that continuous unrelenting depression is not from the Lord.  The hope of this blog is to uncover a means of escape from that depression by helping to isolate a reason for its continuation so a remedy may be found.

Now to begin.

These past couple of weeks I've been closely considering my interactions with people who have experienced some form of sustained grief or depression. 

I can recall conversations over the years where the subjects and I talked at length about their lives and the issues that they were struggling with.

While addressing their problems they were very energetic, 100% attentive, 100% there, zealous to tell their story and to hear my viewpoints (sometimes only if they were supportive of theirs). 

But I noticed a pattern after several conversations, that when some resolution or stopping point occurred, if the topic then veered away from themselves, or if, because often these people could be considered friends, I began to discuss happenings in my own life, a shift would occur where they seemed unable to focus on any other subject but themselves.  It was as if a sail once filled by the wind suddenly sagged and dropped, no longer pulled tight by the air of the attention being on them.  

Their eyes would then avert and glaze, followed by unfocused, and more than that, uninterested replies like, "Oh, really?" Meanwhile, they would almost involuntarily become distracted by their phones or computers or some other thought or responsibility.  I began to realize that as much attention as I invested in them and their situation, if the topic wasn't about them, they simply didn't care.  They might have wanted to care.  They may have even faked caring.  But the insincere interest could only be sustained for short period because their hearts were just not in it.

Let me say that I recognize when people are struggling or hurting that it's tough to emote, to empathize for others.  As Christians, we are ministers, and when we are dealing with people who are hurting, we we don't need to get attention back.  Often, we shouldn't even try.  We should give, not expecting anything in return. 

But it also must be recognized that when self-centeredness is a constant pattern in a person, when he or she cannot seem, on any given day, to listen to or care about other people's lives, something is wrong, and this self-centeredness may be at the center of, or at least a symptom of, why this person constantly struggles with their emotions, and especially with depression.  

Our problems only amplify and grow when all we do is think about ourselves at the expense of reaching out to, caring for, and helping others.

This does not mean we should ignore our problems, but if all we do is focus on ourselves, then that self-focus becomes a spiritual issue, a sin really, that serves to reinforce the depression that seems to be caused by our perceived (and sometimes falsely perceived) bad circumstances, but rather is continuing because we can't or won't look outside ourselves and care about others.

But why is there sin in focusing entirely on ourselves?

The answer lies in Jesus' response to this question, "...which is the great commandment in the law" (Matthew 22:36)?

He replied,

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 37-40).

While, yes (as this scripture points out) we are to love ourselves, there's two other recipients of our love that must be attended to: God and others.  If all we do is care about ourselves, we are not honoring the whole of the law, and we are in sin.

This scripture also provides an order in which we are to apply our attention.

The first is to love the Lord they God with all the heart, soul and mind.  God must come first.

Then the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. 

So while we must love others as well as ourselves, we must first love God.

But how do we love God?

Jesus answered this question as well when he said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).  

We love God by keeping His commandments (this scripture also indicates that we are NOT loving God when we disobey.)

By keeping His commandments we show this love, and we also love others and ourselves because all of God's commandments center around how we treat all three.  

Looking at The Ten Commandments then, the first three are about how we treat God (No other God before Him, make no graven images nor bow before them, take not the Lord's name in vain), the fourth has to do with resting ourselves (honor the Sabbath), and the last six are about how we treat others (honor thy father and mother, no murder, theft, lying, adultery, or coveting).  

So we see here that if we honor God's commandments, we honor and respect Him, ourselves, as well as others. 

This is reaffirmed by 1 John 5:2-3, 

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments..." (1 John 5:2-3).

The pattern is confirmed; to love others we must first love God and keep His commandments.  Otherwise, we live lives of sin and selfishness, not really caring how our actions may effect others, because, again, the law is meant to help us treat God and others the way we ourselves would want to be treated.  

Lack of alignment with the two great commandments (which sum up the whole of the law) can allow what may have been legitimate spiritual sadness/grief to lead to ongoing depression.

Another point to make is that when we don't love God by obeying His Word, we actually form idols (and not just the material ones), but spiritual idols which serve to usurp His position in our lives, creating a sin breach that causes us to hurt God, others and ourselves as we are no longer under the protection of the commandments, being outside of them we do things that hurt all three factions. 

It doesn't matter the sin or the idol, whatever it is we have placed before God through disobedience means that as a consequence we have put ourselves, and our sinful desires, before Him, and since we've done so, as a matter of course we have also put ourselves before others, and everyone (including ourselves in the long run) gets hurt.

By breaking God's commandments we show that we DO NOT love Him or His Son Jesus Christ, or anyone else for that matter.  

Well, I must correct that last part.  When we are selfish we are actually loving someone else.  

We are loving Satan.

There is no void, no vacuum of space for our love when it's not appropriated toward God first, and others second.  We either love and obey God or we love an idol, and idolators are loving Satan because they've come into agreement with him by doing his bidding in disobeying God's commandments.

In that light, the seriousness of self-centeredness becomes more evident.  We don't realize that when we get into long bouts of depression that Satan and his demons have had much to do with cleverly getting our focus off of God and others and onto self, and consequently on them, thereby rendering us useless in the kingdom of God.

Satan has come to rob, kill and destroy (John 10:10), and his focus on the depressed person is to get them so caught up in themselves that they can't obey God's Word.  Then he inflates and exacerbates whatever the problem was to where the sufferer feels he or she has no other choice but to focus on self.  Being depressed, the griever forgets that God has our backs when we focus on Him.  The depressed person begins to think that if he doesn't look after himself, no one else will, including God. Faith in God subsides and disappears, demons driving the person ever deeper into despair, robbing the person of all hope.

This is the enemy's trick, which as always is based on lies: mainly, the lie that God has forsaken the depressed person, when in fact, Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and said he would be with us always, even unto the end of the world (Mathew 28:20).  Once a lie such as this one is believed, it is easy to lose hope, particularly when the enemy is doing his best to paint your life as one that has all sorts of reasons to despair.  The first solution is to get into the Word instead and believe God's truths, His promises, so you can filter out Satan's lies and send him packing (there's a prayer below to help with this).

So, I encourage you today to check yourself, especially if you feel stuck in depression.  

Are you selfish and self-centered?  

In conversations do you and your problems always have to be the subject matter?  

When other people talk are you just waiting to talk about yourself or do you actually listen to and care about what other people have to say about their own lives?

(You might want to ask some of your trusted friends to answer these questions about you as well.  It may be easier for them to see if you are truly self-centered.)

If you answered that you only think and talk about yourself and tune out others when they talk about topics that aren't about you, then something is wrong, and this could be an indicator of a greater problem you have in your relationship with God, and might explain why you are depressed.  

Jesus said, 

"...whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43-45). 

This means caring about other people, ministering to them, serving them.  The continuous struggles, sadness and depression you experience may be the result of the fact that you haven't put God first, that you don't obey, minister to, care about, and/or help Him, and consequently you don't do so for others as well.

No wonder you're grief stricken.  No wonder you can't help but wallow in self-pity.  You're so focused on yourself that God can't even bless you with the fruit of the Spirit, that is His love, joy, and peace. Instead, your life is out of alignment with His Word/commandments and your depression and self-centeredness is there telling you so.

Again, I don't want to discount or belittle any horrible things that may have happened to any reader.  But even with those events, when you're living for God and obeying Him, He helps you to forgive and heals you from those wrongs, and you become a new creature, able to not only endure life, but to thrive in His joy and love in spite of your past or present circumstances.

Please know that there is so much hope in Christ.  I've heard quite a few testimonies where people have decided to put the focus on God and others and all of a sudden their problems seemed to resolve and/or vanish.  Why is that?  Because God blesses those who behave like Him, that is, those who put others before themselves, those who forgive others and get passed their issues by seeking to please Him and serve others.  

When we do these things, He's got our backs!  He looks out for us.  He goes before us and makes the crooked path straight and our eyes begin to open to a much greater world than our own little six square feet of space.  We can begin to see what God is trying to do in our lives as well as in the Church and in the world, because we are not so caught up in ourselves.

"And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not;
I will lead them in paths that they have not known:
I will make darkness light before them,
and crooked things straight.
These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).

So make it your mission to draw your attention to God and His word. Learn all of His commandments and seek out and remedy where you are breaking them so you may set yourself right with Him.  Once you do that, your default mode will be to love Him and others before yourself, and you will be rewarded with joy unspeakable and full of glory, in spite of all the circumstances surrounding you. 

If you don't figure out the source of your issues, your self-centeredness and accompanying depression may hound you still, and will only fester and grow more insidious, until you are so self-centered and depressed you won't mind one iota if you hurt yourself or others if only to make yourself feel better. 

Better to figure out how to make things right before it gets that far.

My prayer, in Jesus' name, is that this blog blesses every reader struggling with depression and self-centeredness to break out of their shells and find joy and freedom through serving God first and loving their neighbors as themselves.

If you are struggling with to do so, consider praying a prayer like this one:

"Father, in the name of Jesus I come to you, recognizing my sin, that there's some wedge between us.  I know this because I don't seem to care about anything but myself, nor do I have a space in my heart to really care about others, even You.  And my own problems overwhelm me with sadness, grief, depression and fear.  Please show me what has led me to this place, and in what way I am breaking your commandments.  Help me rid myself of any and all idols.  I wish to serve you and become a person that has empathy and sympathy for others, especially for You.  I want to be a caring person, and I know that with Your help, I can be so.  So, I renounce all sin, and the specific ways I'm not aligned with Your Word.  I forgive each and every person that has wronged me (name them), and ask your forgiveness for not forgiving them prior to now.  Thank you for showing me how to forgive as you have forgiven me and everyone else who has sought your forgiveness. I renounce Satan and his demons, and all their methods to make me turn my back on You.  In the name of Jesus Christ, I bind every demonic spirit related to my sin, and especially the spirits of depression, grief, sadness, mental anguish, agony, self-centeredness, self-pity, unforgiveness, narcissism and pride, and I command these demons to leave me right now in Jesus' mighty name! In the name of Jesus Christ I loose in the place of these spirits, forgiveness, the joy of the Lord, which is my strength, the peace and love of God, humility, meekness, and a caring and loving heart for others, especially for God.  Father, I thank you for freedom from my depression and self-centeredness and I ask that you show me how to serve you and others better so I may reflect your glory and bring you joy.  I ask all these things in Jesus' mighty name.  A-men!"

If you prayed this prayer (or something like it), may you blessed with a newfound joy in the Lord, one that pours living waters out of your belly and helps to water the dry and parched mouths of other people in the Church who need help out of obsession with self.  I pray this for you in Jesus' mighty name.  A-men.