According to the American Psychiatric Assn “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder in which people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking on things or cleaning, can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.”*
These poor folk often become prisoners in their own homes, fearful of “contaminations” believed to be lurking “out there,” or confined simply by reason of their very time consuming compulsive rituals. Their beliefs have enslaved them… made them slaves
The International OCD Foundation identifies Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as the most effective treatments for OCD. Basically, treatment leads one to challenge and re-think their behavior. In time, more rational beliefs and behaviours assert themselves, and the sufferer begins to be free!
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Writes Paul (Gal. 5:1a). He further urges the believer not to take this freedom in a casual manner, but to claim it daily, to stand firm in it, and to shun any deviation from it: “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Christ sets the believer free from bondage to legalism, to self-righteousness, to self flagellation for past sins, to externally following some list of laws, rules, or deeds. Christ gives the believer a new heart. A heart which when followed is freedom indeed! “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36).
Christ’s purpose in this is not that one experiences a momentary reprieve from this bondage but that one walks in freedom daily. The great paradox is that this freedom is found only by taking a firm stand to follow that new heart… to follow Christ… to become His bondslave – a slavery not of compulion, but a slavery of love!
“The only thing that counts,” adds Paul, “is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:6).
“Live as free people… live as God’s slaves.” (1 Pet. 2:16).
* Retrieved April 28, 2021 from: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ocd/what-is-obsessive-compulsive-disorder.
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