Rejoice Always: Toxic Positivity, Depression and Freedom in Christ

“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life. For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

I recently re-watched Pollyanna (Disney, 1960) for the first time in many years. I know that this sunny young girl and her “glad game” – where you think of things to be glad about in every situation – had a profound impact on my life and attitude growing up.

The story, as presented, is charming: a cheerful young orphan comes to a town of selfish, prickly, and bitter people and transforms everyone by her witness of joy.…