How OCD Completely Ruins Times of Worship

It’s true that for the OCD sufferer, one’s spiritual life can be joyless and oppressive. Instead of being occasions of joy and Christian fellowship, worship services can be times of torment and guilt. Often during times of worship, troubling thoughts enter my mind. While everyone is seated, I feel I must stand up. If I don’t, I’m not following the leading of the Holy Spirit. After such an experience, I will feel guilty and enter into a time of questioning whether I should have stood up or not. I might reason within: “I’m guilty because I didn’t stand up when God was prompting me to. It was nothing the fear of man and I let it keep me from worshiping God with my whole heart.” If I feel guilty enough, I will look for opportunities to “repent” and stand up the next time. But then worship becomes nothing more than feeling anxious about the next time I need to stand up. There have been times when I’ve completely avoid this situation by going to the back and standing up the entire time. That way, “God” can never prompt me to stand up and I won’t be guilty of disobeying Him. As you can imagine, it’s not a joyful experience to worship the Lord when you’re constantly dealing with such thoughts. It becomes an anxious test of pleasing Him or not, or in trying to discern His voice from the voice of the enemy or self. I’d love to be able to go to church and not have to deal with such intrusive thoughts, but that’s the way it is right now.

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