Nowadays, awareness on the meaning and importance of mental health has greatly increased. People become more conscious of their feelings, as well as their states of mind, and also those of others. People become more sensitive to the effect of their words on people, on their attitude and their well-being.
As friends, it is our role to be present for one another when troubles come. If your friend faces sadness, hurt, pain or maybe even depression, it’s your responsibility as a child of God, and as a friend, to be present.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Now that we know that it’s our responsibility to support them when they face depression, how can we support them?
1. Pray for them
James 5:16 KJV
… and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The first step in helping your friend who battles depression is praying for them.
2. Make time for them
Colossians 3:12 KJV
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Make time to be present for them in order to show kindness and love to them. The simple fact of allocating time to your friend makes him/her feel more loved and cared for, this helps in the healing process.
3. Open your ears to listen and your heart to show compassion
Listen openly, without judging, without criticizing, but trying to understand. What’s the most important isn’t to say what’s “reasonable” or not, but to understand the emotions behind, and to express all the support and love possible.
4. Make them benefit of your experience
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
For a good number of things you’ve gone through, God let you go through them and comforted you, so that in the future, you would make people in a similar situation to benefit of how God comforted you, and all that you learned through that.
Nehemiah 2:2 NIV
so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid,
What will really determine the fact that you help your friend or not is first of all the fact that you notice that there’s something wrong.
If you don’t notice that your friend is sad, hurt, broken it won’t forcefully come to your mind to pray for them to get better (since you didn’t even realize that they weren’t ok). It won’t cross your mind to make time for them if you aren’t aware that they need that time.Also,you won’t be able to respond to their feelings because you won’t even know that it’s about that.
You are an instrument of God for joy. You are God’s representative here on earth, to spread The Gospel and to spread His love.
John 13:34-35 NIV
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The love of God which you show to another can bring back his/her joy. Extend God’s love to hurting people out there, start with your friends and loved ones.
God Almighty King of Glory, I want to serve You by spreading Your love and support around me to those who need it. Help me notice their need and provide for it in The Lord. In Jesus Christ’s Name I pray. Amen