O. Alan Noble, PhD, is a professor, author, and advocate for those suffering from OCD. I am fortunate to consider him a friend. His most recent book is an excellent read on Christian hope in suffering, On Getting Out of Bed. He has been featured everywhere from Christianity Today to The Atlantic and The Gospel Coalition. His most recent article is a personal and profound look at scrupulosity (OCD).
Here’s a snippet of the article from Plough magazine:
Growing up evangelical, I was taught that your personal conscience is law. God uses the Holy Spirit to guide and convict us through our innermost selves. So when the conscience speaks, not to listen is a sin. Your conscience can be mistaken, of course, but really only in one direction: a seared conscience. If you are insufficiently attentive to God’s word, or if you allow a particular sin to dominate you, then your conscience, rather than being God-guided, becomes “seared”: deaf to the promptings of the Spirit. But otherwise, I was told, when your inner voice speaks with conviction, you are morally obligated to obey.
What nobody told me was that your conscience, or what feels like your conscience, can be entirely mistaken through no fault of your own. Just like it’s possible to feel no guilt when you should, it’s possible to feel guilt or anxiety or shame over things that you shouldn’t feel bad about at all. Nobody told me how your mind can be your own worst enemy. How it can fixate on imaginary sins. Nobody warned me about moral scrupulosity, the type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) I suffer from. Nobody warned me how anxiety and fear can take the thing you care about most – your faith – and turn it against you….
Please check out the full article here. I hope you know you are not alone. And if you are a Christian who suffers with similar things, you are seen, heard, and there is support for you.