Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as a Christian
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Do you repeatedly check to make sure doors are locked? Do you wash your hands excessively? Are you overly concerned about germs; do you find that touching doorknobs, shaking hands and the like bother you? Have you battled morbid or immoral thoughts even though those thoughts are completely unwelcomed and horrify you? Do you spend an unusual amount of time keeping things organized so they are “just right"? Do you have a difficult time making decisions unless you are 100% certain and all variables have been thought through?

If you've answered yes to any of these then, to some degree, you likely have what is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

First let's look at what the world defines as OCD. In my research I have found varying definitions of OCD that not only change depending on the source of who's defining it but many sources have changed their definition of it over the years. The following continuity seems to be present in many of the definitions of OCD today:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD is considered by some as an anxiety disorder as it often causes anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that can take a lot of time and get in the way of important things the person values.

You know what I hate right off the bat. That they call it a disorder. That was one of the things I feared I would discover about myself, that I had something mentally wrong such as having a “disorder”. However I have found that mankind loves to put labels on things so they can categorize them and put them in their own neat compartments. While they call it a disorder, I would simply describe it as Obsessive Compulsive Behavior. Yep that sounds better. Sorry I'm being OCB about this.

Honestly though, when you research OCD they are taking a behavior pattern and putting a label on it. When you dig in to their research scientist aren't sure exactly what happens which unfortunately is the current case with many other mental disorders relating to anxiety and depression. They speculate that there is some chemical imbalance but they have no way to measure or test this theory. They've examined brain scans that have given some evidence of areas of the brain that activate which seem to be different than those who aren't showing symptoms of OCD. For all they know that could just be a person's ability to use more of their brain. Even in testing medication to help with anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders they aren't sure exactly how the antianxiety and antidepressant pills work. Their conclusions are based on their observations of positive results seen in those taking the pills that had been diagnosed with a disorder. It was not because they understand the engineering of how it works but because of trial and error. I'm not discrediting the medical side of things, I'm stating we don't have concrete evidence of what's causing OCD, therefore I'm actually suspending judgment until concrete evidence can be provided.


There are many arguments crediting OCD to spiritual causes. Unfortunately this is where the world has their head in the sand. Not factoring in God, the implications of grace, faith, and spiritual things (indeed they are unable [1 Cor. 2:14]) and having no understanding of the existence of “principalities”, “powers”, “rulers of the darkness of this world”, “spiritual wickedness in high places.” (See Eph. 6:12, KJV) they offer us no help regarding a realm which they have no understanding.


There is a spiritual aspect (often known as scrupulosity) the world cannot factor in because it does not know Him (John 14:17). The psychological aspect they may recognize. The spiritual aspect escapes them. Therefore let me start with the psychological and then we'll examine the spiritual and their relationship.


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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!