I John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
I am venturing on to some shaky terrain here in the world of OCD. I know what the above Scripture says, but I also know the fragility of a soul in the throes of acute OCD. I know how there is so much guilt and shame already present inside that soul that it can seem as though one drop more will cause a total break with reality or a crying jag that lasts for more than a day.
However, as we say, let God be true and every man a liar. The above Scripture claims that the way to freedom in Christ is owning our sin. That must apply whether we are a so-called normal person or whether we have a disability.
In the case of my son and other people with OCD/similar disabilities I have known, there is a tendency to create their own drama, then try to blame it on a significant other (read: mother, in my son’s experience). I have noticed the following pattern.
1) This person thrives on drama. It is as though he feels bored when the adrenaline is not flowing. I suspect a chemical imbalance starts this all off.
2) This person starts out with a lower level of drama but keeps escalating to a higher level each time the significant other helps him to deal with/solve the issues at the lower levels. The drama progressively ratchets upward.
3) If the significant other calls a timeout, as I did during choir practice the other night because the drama was overwhelming me emotionally while I needed to be emotionally present for worship and musicianship, the person with OCD may quite methodically create a crisis–the biggest drama scene yet.
4) When called out for having created the crisis, the person with OCD may try excusing himself by saying, “Well, you weren’t there for me, so you made it happen.” He blames the end products of his drama on the absence of his significant other, as though she were an all-seeing, all-knowing god who let him down.
Therein lies the theological flaw. None of us is a god unto any other person. If we try to become a person who can be everything to another person, we move into idolatry at so many different levels. We cannot be there 24/7 for anyone because, unlike God, we are not omnipresent.
We must encourage the person with OCD to look directly to God in his distress. Anything short of that will fail him.
Oh, we can be there to support him. But no one can be there 24/7. We would be living that other person’s life for him if we were. Or we would be a god in his life. We simply cannot do that and we must lay down the responsibility for doing that, regardless of what the person with OCD says or how he reacts. If he creates additional drama, he must deal with it, not us.
At some point, the person with OCD must acknowledge that he is a sinner like everyone else on this sin-choked planet. There is no hope for him in this life if he does not. If he thinks that everything that happens to him makes him a victim of fate or of other people, he will never succeed in this life.
Theologically, it seems that he will also never be truly saved if he never admits that he is a sinner in need of salvation. Jesus came to die for the whole person but acknowledging our need for Him does have to involve an admission of being a sinner, not just a victim or a broken person, as the lingo of today most often puts it!
We need to speak the truth to our person with OCD, for only the truth will ultimately set him free. Only the truth ultimately sets any of us free in Christ!