Coping Statements For Christians With OCD and Scrupulosity
Dealing with Doubt and Uncertainty
- Faith is not the absence of feeling uncertain. Faith is going forward through the uncertainty.
- OCD wants me to believe that uncertainty and doubt are dangerous. While uncertainty is uncomfortable, it is not dangerous, and I can tolerate it.
- My faith is what I believe, not what I feel.
- Feelings are not facts.
- OCD will always bring up another What if . . . ? Trying to nail down all of the What if . . . ? questions will lead me down a path of never feeling good enough or certain enough.
- I can have faith and still feel uncertain. Mark 9:24, “…Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
- God loves me completely, even when my feelings are uncertain and clouded by doubt.
- My peace with God is not based on my feelings. Rather, as Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Therefore, I am at peace with God because of Jesus whether my feelings agree or not.
Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts
- Even though they feel real, intrusive thoughts (i.e., distressing thoughts or images with violent, sexual, or blasphemous content) say nothing about my true character.
- The goal of the intrusive thoughts is to shock and scare me, so I try to suppress or “fix” them. My goal is to identify them as “intrusive thoughts” and move on instead of fighting with them.
- Having an intrusive thought does not make it more likely for me to act on it.
- God understands that intrusive thoughts are distressing to me. He understands OCD better than anyone!
- OCD wants me to believe that worry, anxiety, and compulsions will protect me spiritually. That is all part of the trick OCD wants me to believe.
- OCD wants me to fight with my thoughts and try to control and suppress them. OCD knows that by getting distressed and fighting with the thoughts I will refill the “gas tank” in the obsessional engine and keep it running.
- Trying to prevent myself from ever having certain thoughts, images, and feelings only makes them worse.
Tips on Moving Forward
- One of OCD’s biggest tricks is asking me the question, “What if this fear isn’t from OCD and it really is a serious issue?” Whenever this thought (or one similar) comes, I will treat it as OCD and not try to figure it out.
- I will pray to God for grace and strength to accept/move on from intrusive thoughts without figuring them out and fight doing compulsions, neutralizing, or avoiding.
- My goal is to “starve” OCD by not giving meaning to intrusive thoughts or doing compulsions.
- I have two choices: (1) to chase after a feeling of certainty that never comes or (2) to choose to move forward through the uncertainty.
- My goal is to focus on doing the tasks that I need to be doing in the present moment (studying, cooking, talking to a friend, working) instead of focusing on trying to figure out the uncertainty or fear.
- I need to focus on the present moment and allow my thoughts to come and go.
- Trying to figure it all out only makes it worse.
- God understands that I don’t understand.
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