While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.

Luke 24:15

Adam and Eve were the first human beings created by God. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - in Christianity, this tragedy is known as the Fall.  Satan, a fallen angel who fell into the sin of pride, wanted to dethrone or take the place of God. Satan tempted and deceived Eve by telling her that she could know as much as God. Since the Fall, every human being has a sin nature. Actually, all of creation has been affected adversely as a result of the Fall. For example, there are earthquakes, tornadoes, and storms that wreak havoc. We experience pride, fear, lust, hatred, anger, and anxiety. Self-centeredness has replaced God- centeredness. We have troubled relationships with others. It is difficult to reveal our true selves. I may speak with a person about movies or jobs, but we never get to know each other, not really. It is hard to admit, but even little children have sin natures. One evening, I was babysitting a little boy. When it was bedtime, he became defiant and actually kicked me. If you just observe, you will see the sin nature.

Sometimes with OCD it may be difficult to see sin in ourselves because we usually obey the rules of society. It is sometimes difficult to detect sin because it is so deeply embedded in our behavior. The first thing to do is to ask God to reveal your sins to you. There are numerous sins, but I will give some examples of certain sins that I commit. Lying is always a sin. Self-rejection and self-despising are sins. Psalm 139:13 states, For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I use to fantasize that I was another person. I wanted to look differently and be more intelligent and talented. This is a sin because God created me as a unique individual with a purpose, and it is an insult to God when I fantasize about being someone else. I have trouble forgiving people who have turned on me and let me down. I hold grudges and become bitter at times. I sometimes get angry and say mean things. I worry about things instead of trusting God. I may be outwardly performing good acts, but my motivations may be selfish.

Sin separates us from God, and we can never do enough good works to earn our way back to God. God loves us and has provided one way for each of us to be reconciled to Him. That one way is belief in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ willingly paid the penalty for our sins.  He took upon Himself all of our sins...He said, It is finished! (John 19:30) In Christianity, salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Legalism, which is false, states that we are saved by obeying rules, and that you need to earn salvation. Grace is favor from God - it is free and undeserved. In the world we live in, grace is like a foreign language.

The really wonderful thing is someday Jesus Christ is going to return. The following is a quote from Pastor Rod. .."Just seeing Him will bring us instant moral transformation... so that from that moment on, our sin natures are gone. You and I will have the humility of Christ. We will have the unselfishness of Christ. We will have the love of Christ. We will have the purity of thought life of Christ. We will have the glorious moral character of Christ Himself."

I am just an ordinary person. I'm not an expert in OCD or theology, but with God as my guide, I will share some insights with you. ..maybe you will be able to avoid some of the mistakes I make. By the way, sometimes I have trouble following my own suggestions.

How can I "believe" since I have OCD and constantly doubt?

Many years ago, the French had a name for OCD -folie de doute which means delusion of doubt. I have a name for OCD as well - I call it Oh no! which means I want to be a Christian, but I doubt my own senses. The more you worry about whether or not you are believing, the worse the situation will become. Don't put yourself under pressure. When I first learned about Christianity, I felt like tomorrow are my final exams, and I haven't even read the first chapter of my textbook yet. I thought I had to hurry and catch up on all that I had missed. I was just beginning to know God, and I was scared and overwhelmed. I was worried about my feelings towards God. I bought so many Christian books, and I tried to "read" my way out of my problem. I did not have "balance" in my life. I put myself under so much pressure that I ended up breathing in brown paper sacks. First of all, it isn't a matter of how much Bible knowledge you possess.  Secondly, God loves you first - you need not try to force your feelings.  God wants to be friends with you.  Pastor Rod once said, "Jesus wants to do lunch with you." God wants to hear how your day went. Pastor Rod's tapes helped me because I became so interested in what he was teaching that I stopped worrying about whether or not I was believing. I hope that you will be able to find a Sunday School class with an interesting teacher. Pastor Snapp, who is the counselor doing the counseling on this web page, was my Sunday School teacher. He is so interesting to listen to that I always thought the class ended too soon. I take notes, and I also like to use the Ryrie Study Bible because it has easy-to-understand notes on the bottom of the pages. Don't be intimidated by people who seem to know more than you do...they may just be reading from those notes on the bottom of the pages in their Bibles. Be "real" and don't try to keep up with other Christians. As you study, apply the concepts you learn to your own life. While listening to sermons, don't expect to be "moved" by everything you hear. Listen and let God point out the things He wants you to hear. Read the Bible verses yourself as you listen and study. (Acts 17:10&11) While studying the Bible or listening to sermons, don't become frightened if you experience some intrusive, obsessive thoughts. Sometimes, you will also feel "resistance" when learning from the Bible. Because you know the truth, you will persist. God is so happy and pleased when you talk with Him and want to learn from Him. He wants to be your best friend!

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
(Isaiah 30:18)

Depression - I wasn't sure if I had the energy to make it to the bus stop. In my darkness, I was told to sing or whistle, even if I didn't feel like it.

I have never told my violin teacher about my problems with OCD and depression. One evening, he mentioned to me that people with "nervous" conditions are drawn to the violin.  I started to wonder if my OCD scars were showing. When I sank into the deep recesses of depression, sometimes I would hear a word or a verse in a song.

...Ah, neighbour Christian, where are you now?
Truly, said Christian, I do not know.
(Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan)
After reading the beginning chapters of Grace Abounding To The Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan, I felt close to John Bunyan. His struggles were so similar to my struggles. I wanted to see a photograph of John Bunyan, and Pastor Rod, who cares, showed me a photograph. Pastor Rod's tapes on suffering in this life and the reality of heaven help me to look towards eternity. In this life on earth, the only thing that can't be taken away from you is your relationship with God... everything else is like mist. Give thanks to God who will never leave you.

I confess my sins, but I do not feel forgiven.

Think of who God is and what He is like. We have distorted concepts of God. In addition to reading the Bible, a small paperback book that is helpful is Your God is Too Small by J.B. Phillips. God forgives all of your sins - it is written in the Bible, which is God's Word. Your feelings of feeling unforgiven do not carry any weight. These feelings have no validity or relevance. Turn away from false subjective feelings, and turn to God's objective truths.

...Behold, the Lamb of God who takes
away the sin of the world!
(John 1:29)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and
righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness.
(I John 1:9)

I'm stuck like glue.

Having OCD is like being trapped in a labyrinth. My thoughts travel in an endless, exhausting loop. I tried and tried and tried to think my way through certain spiritual problems.

God, I can't do this anymore - take over.
...even then I still tried.
God, take control.
...I still tried.
God, stop me from trying because I can't stop trying.
I can't - and that is precisely the point. Give your burdens, whatever they may be, to the Lord...He is faithful.

If God loves me, why do I have OCD?

My answer is because there was no other way. If I wouldn't have OCD and its related problems, I would not be in a church on Sundays worshiping God. This web page would be nonexistent, and you would not be reading this message. Pastor Rod, though, has the best answer - he says that Jesus died on a cross for him and that is all he needs to know. That answer is in my heart for eternity.

But I am afraid of social interaction...

I have always been socially withdrawn - people use to say that I was in a shell. After I realized there is a God, I was in this church where the people were invited to go downstairs for popcorn. I really wanted to go! When you become a Christian, you will want to be with other Christians - it is called fellowship. There is this bond between Christians because we have Jesus Christ in common. We spend much time praying to God for people, who don't know Christ yet, to come and join us because we love you and desire for you the peace of mind that you need. Once you experience the love of Jesus Christ, you will find that nothing else satisfies your deep emptiness. Things of the world will seem bland.

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