Last updated on December 16, 2022  by 
Jaimie Eckert

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“I just want to know that I’m saved,” Bella sniffed, dashing tears from her cheeks. “Everybody talks about ‘assurance of salvation’ as if they’re so sure. I feel like I’m on the outside looking in, never really a part of the ‘in-group’ of the saved. I try so hard to have enough faith, and I’m constantly policing my life to check for anything that might not please God. But I never feel totally sure!”

Have you ever felt like Bella?

About one in a hundred people sitting in your church (1.2%) have obsessive-compulsive disorder, a complex mental health condition that can sometimes affect the way we relate to spiritual realities. The obsessive urge to know things beyond all shadow of doubt, combined with the chronic, looping doubts that are so characteristic to the OCD experience, can create a perfect storm for our assurance of salvation.

In this article, I’d like to discuss assurance of salvation for believers who have a chronic anxiety disorder.

Preconceived Ideas About Assurance of Salvation

We all grow up with preconceived notions about God, salvation, and what it means to live in this world as a Christian. Certainly, we have beliefs–either examined or unexamined–about what “assurance of salvation” actually means.

Some of us believe that assurance of salvation is a feeling, a deep, secure, unshakeable confidence that should operate seamlessly and continuously for the believer during all life circumstances.

Others might reference Romans 8:16 to say that assurance of salvation involves a mystical sort of inner voice from the Holy Spirit, bearing witness in the quiet chambers of our mind to confirm that we are indeed saved. As it is written,

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

Romans 8:16

At some level, those who chronically struggle with assurance of salvation are stuck on the belief that “assurance” is something tangible and constantly accessible to our emotions, like a precious pearl hidden in our pocket that we can reach in and touch whenever we’d like.

However, one of the issues with this interpretation of Romans 8:16 is the idea that if we are truly saved, the Holy Spirit will never allow us to feel insecure or doubtful. Those who follow this line of thinking may suggest that any and all spiritual doubt is a sign of not being saved.

This, of course, can’t be true. Even people like Elijah, John the Baptist, Thomas, and Job experienced major doubts about God and their own experience with Him.

Others might escape the pit of waiting for the Holy Spirit to deliver unshakeable confidence onto their doorstep. Instead, they replace this passive, tortured waiting with intense personal effort. They may believe that assurance of salvation is something produced through our own hardworking faith, strained to a high pitch of belief so solid that we feel we could move mountains. One of the verses they may call to mind is,

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

James 1:6

These people feel that faith and doubt are complete polar opposites, and that any tiny grain of insecurity–about anything–could spell spiritual disaster. Thus, they feel it is up to them to work very hard to have the right kind and quantity of faith. If they don’t feel 100% sure of their salvation, they may experience guilt and fear, thinking they have failed in their responsibility to “have enough faith.”

Are these appropriate ways of understanding assurance of salvation? Or did God have something different in mind–something more restful?

What is assurance of salvation, according to Scripture?

Biblical Truths About Assurance of Salvation

I would like us to read the following verses clearly and plainly, just as they read. Try not to impose your own interpretations or obsessive-compulsive fears on them. Just read in a straightforward way, like a child would read.

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

John 10:28-29

Notice in this passage that my security is contingent upon the efficacy of Jesus and the Father. No one can snatch me out of His hand. My eternal salvation is safe, but not because I was able to rein my mind up to a high-frequency pitch of uber-faith. It is safe because Jesus holds onto me.

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:13

Here we see that eternal life is for those who believe in the name of the Son of God. This is so comforting to tortured, anxious souls who feel that they must do this and do that to be “enough” for God.

There is one thing, and one thing only, that we must do–believe in the name of the Son of God.

He has already done everything to secure our salvation. Assurance is never meant to be self-referential. Assurance of salvation is not to be found in a mirror, but through a skylight towards the heavens. It is based entirely upon what Jesus did for me on Calvary and what He continues to do every day as He imparts the beauty of His character to me.

Think about this: do you feel less assurance on days when you struggle with your sins and mistakes? Then it is probable that you are looking to yourself to fill your heart’s desire for assurance. If we are keeping our eyes properly fixed on Jesus and His unmoving, unrelenting love for us, our confidence will not dip and soar in tandem with our good and bad days. It will remain fixed and constant, externally anchored in Christ rather than our faltering selves.

This is not to say that we can toss our hands in the air and live a life of hedonistic vice. Certainly, good works are the fruit of salvation. But good works should never, ever form the basis of my eternal confidence. (Think of the thief on the cross and how many good works he had the chance to do!)

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:9-13

Here we are reminded, once again, that my salvation is meant to be a very simple thing. I believe with my heart and confess with my mouth. God, because He is rich in mercy and because of the great love with which He loves us, saves me when I call upon Him.

Many people with religious OCD have a tendency to complicate this very simple experience. Typically, we obsess over the quality of our faith or the presence of it, perhaps bemoaning the fact that we don’t “feel” our faith. We may hyper-analyze our confession of faith, wondering if it was truly sincere enough, informed enough, or pure enough. We wonder if we said the words “just right.”

For those struggling with your confession of faith, let me remind you that the Bible gives us no creedal formula for confessing our belief in Christ. Centuries after the time of Christ, Christians came up with nice, compact confessions, but keep in mind that these are manmade, formulaic prayers that are not essential to the salvific experience.

You might be thinking about the Sinner’s Prayer. Maybe you prayed it when you gave your life to Jesus. But where did that prayer actually come from?

Well, let’s go back in time to the revivalist era of American and European history. Remember the First and Second Great Awakenings, when spiritual revival swept across the western world? During that time, John Wesley introduced a piece of furniture in the church called the Mourner’s Bench (also called “the anxious bench”). This was a wooden bench in the front of the church where people would kneel for hours and hours in anxious prayer. It was taught that one could be sure of their salvation if they prayed long and hard and anxiously enough. (Doesn’t that sound rather scrupulous!) This was the historic period in which terms like “altar call” were popularized, as people were called forward to kneel at the Mourner’s Bench and receive a new life in Christ.

However, as time went on, this approach was seen as too time-consuming. In the early 1900’s, as preachers began using voice-enhancing technology like microphones, they were able to preach to larger and larger crowds. Having mourner’s benches was impractical when hundreds and thousands might be brought to Christ in one evening. So preachers simplified the process by inventing short, formulaic confessions like the Sinner’s Prayer. It was, in part, invented to meet a logistical need on the frontlines of evangelism.

But that doesn’t mean it is “the” divinely inspired way to experience salvation.

If you prayed the Sinner’s Prayer when you came to Jesus, that’s fine. But if you’re one of the obsessional ones who has been praying the Sinner’s Prayer 400 times per day for the last decade of your life, trying to get the words and feelings and motives just right, it might be a good idea to permanently file this prayer away and search for a more authentic, non-scripted way of relating to God.

When you call on the name of Jesus, He immediately and gladly covers you with His blood. You are saved–rescued from this dark world–and your name is registered in the Book of Life.

You might have mixed motives, weird feelings, stuttering speech, or distracted thoughts. But yet, you chose to call on His name. That’s what matters. No one forced you at gunpoint. It was your decision, even if it was a pitiful little peep for help.

Jesus responds to our pitiful little peeps. He moves mountains to get to us. And once He has us, there is nothing that can snatch us out of His hand.

But Why Don’t I Feel Saved?

I’m sure you’ve read these verses and many others. We could include a dozen more if we had time. But maybe you’re not looking for more verses, you’re wondering why they don’t seem to sink in.

What is it that makes you keep coming back again in mind-numbing loops, like rats on a wheel, trying to figure out if you’re really saved?

I believe that certain segments of the population–such as those with obsessive-compulsive disorder–are particularly vulnerable to the effects of our emotions. We take our feelings way too seriously. In a culture where therapists and social media stars tell us to “validate our feelings” and always “listen to our gut,” let me be that one lonely voice telling you not to jump on that bandwagon too quickly.

Sure, some of our feelings are valid. But some are totally off the charts nutty. It is possible to feel anxious when nothing bad is going on. (For people like you and me, that could happen a dozen times per day.) Chalk it up to messed-up brain patterns or too much negative self-analysis–either way, our brains have the ability to manufacture bad feelings that have zero foundation in reality.

That’s why I’m careful with the whole “validate your feelings” thing.

(Though, to be fair, there’s a place for that. Especially if you’ve survived toxic, gaslighting, abusive, or narcissistic people, you might have a compromised ability to listen to your own emotions when they really ARE important. So keep that in mind. There’s balance to be sought here.)

If we think assurance of salvation is something we are supposed to feel, but yet our feelings change every few hours, we’re headed for trouble. This is why it’s important to recognize that assurance of salvation should never be self-referential; my assurance is not related to what I’m feeling or how well I’ve performed today. My assurance is anchored in the work of Jesus Christ on my behalf. This is what gives me confidence, or “assurance.”

“Yes,” you might be half-agreeing, “but how can I know that I’ve done what I’m supposed to do to receive His work in my life?”

That’s where I come back to my “Theology of the Pitiful Little Peep.” If at any point in your life you have uttered even the most awkward and pitiful prayer–or less than a prayer, just a string of confused words, spoken from trembling and uncertain lips–you’re safe under His wings. He has started a chain of events–no, even before your pitiful little peep–that cause Him to be eternally interested in your welfare.

“Even if I was calling on His name from selfish motives?”

Yes, even if.

“Even if I’ve sinned over and over again since then?”

Yes, even if.

“Even if I didn’t fully understand what I was committing to when I said that pitiful little prayer?”

Mmm hmm.

“Even if I’ve made promises to God and broken them, and cursed His name, and had horrible thoughts about Him, and doubted His existence, and failed to read my Bible for a year because I’m too anxious to approach Him?”


All these questions are a way of reversing the focus back onto ourselves and our performance. It is a false view of salvation, one that depends on ME ME ME instead of our merciful Savior Jesus Christ. Remember Paul’s reason for having assurance of salvation? He chose to use the word “confidence” to express his outlook on eternal realities. What gave him confidence for the future?

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 1:6

No, you’re not perfect right now. Neither am I. Let’s not kid ourselves.

We need massive amounts of sanctification and growth in grace.

But this is the point I’m trying to hammer home: the amount of work needed in my life doesn’t have anything to do with my name being in the Book of Life.

I’d like you to think of salvation in this way.

Imagine that God is an investor and He has bought a thousand plots of land for development. You own a few acres of miserable, undeveloped swampland that’s basically good for nothing. God-the-real-estate-investor comes and asks if you’d like to sell Him your swampland. He offers you a billion gazillion dollars plus an everlasting home in glory if you give Him the land.

After thinking about it for awhile, you agree. You give Him your ugly, stinky swamp.

God is elated. He begins work right away. He starts draining the swamp, working the soil, and removing rotten logs.

But you start strolling through town to take a look at the other plots that God is working on. Near the middle of town is the pastor’s plot. There’s a shiny church building on it, with a golden bell tower and sparkling stained glass windows.

“Did God build this on your land?” You ask the pastor in surprise, your mouth hanging open. “Everything is so perfect. God could never make my land investment turn out this good.”

“Well, don’t be deceived by how things look on the outside,” the pastor winks. “God’s not done here yet. He’s still working on some wiring issues in the basement and a few foundation cracks that I caused with some unfortunate DIY attempts. It’s been taking us some time. I don’t know why, but it seems like that final fixes always take the longest.”

You meander down the street and see all the other plots. Everyone’s buildings seem new and beautiful. Some are clearly in progress, with open window frames and unpaved driveways. But everywhere you look, you can see God’s development.

You begin to feel discouraged. Your plot of swampland seems so puny in comparison. You’ll never measure up to what you see in everybody else! Maybe this is just a useless endeavor. You go back to find God on a backhoe on your plot.

“God, we need to talk,” you call out.

He shuts off the engine and the swamp goes quiet.

“God, I don’t think this is going to work. I can’t live up to my end of the bargain. My plot of land is hopeless.”

God smiles.

“Why don’t you stop looking at the swamp and just let Me work?” He asks gently. “You gave me the land. I’m going to give you eternity and a beautiful building. The only thing you need to do is let Me work and stop worrying so much.”

“Yes, God, but I just don’t feel very secure about this whole thing. Isn’t there anything I should be doing to ensure that the building project will go well?”

“Why?” God asks. “Do you think you can build as well as Me?”

“Well, umm, it’s not exactly like that…”

“Your efforts are to be placed in trusting Me. ‘Fight the good fight of faith,’ not the fight of works.”

“Yeah, but it’s really, really HARD to trust You when I don’t feel secure about how everything is going to end up.”

God revs the engine on the backhoe again. “I didn’t say trusting Me is easy,” He smiles. “I just asked you to trust.”


I hope my analogy isn’t too hard to follow. We give our swampy, worthless hearts to God and He gives us the riches and immortality of heaven. Then He works in our lives “to will and to do of His good pleasure,” building characters that reflect Him in the world around us. All of us are at different stages of that journey, and all of us are vulnerable to self-doubt, insecurity, and worries.

But God asks us to trust.

He never promised that we are going to have a constant, tangible “feeling” of assurance. Our assurance rests in His unchanging promises, not our own frail emotions.

We can say, “today I woke up anxious and I don’t really feel so sure of my salvation. But I’m confident that God is who He says He is and He’s going to take me all the way to heaven.”

Some days–the really bad days–our doubts might be so strong that we aren’t even sure we believe in God. We aren’t sure He is who He says He is. On those days, we can say, “I’m not sure of anything today, and that’s still fine. My intellectual attempts to figure things out are not what save me. Jesus is the only One who can save me. I choose to trust Him–to just say the words ‘I choose to trust You’–even though my thoughts and feelings are in complete, chaotic rebellion.”

>Deep breath<

“I choose to trust You, Jesus.”

This is how we experience deep and lasting assurance of salvation. It is by reversing the focus and by not expecting assurance to be an emotional experience. As we learn to do this consistently, we will begin to experience the peace and stillness of true rest.

What about you? How have you learned to be less worried about your salvation? Share your comments below!

Best wishes on the journey,


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  1. So, I was sobbing most of the time I was reading this.
    I relate so so so much and this helped. I've struggled a lot with this type of OCD since I became Christian (about 2.5 years ago). It started with a thought and then the fear of "what if I committed the unforgivable sin", and that really caused me to have intense anxiety which ultimately led me to fall in to a depression. After that, the OCD continued to affect my walk with God and other random aspects of my day to day life. I've tried to open up to people, friends, family, therapists, but none of them actually know about this specific type of OCD and truly knows how to help me. Some can only listen, some get frustrated with me, some give me some general tips for reducing and coping with anxiety. It's hard to feel like barely anyone knows about your condition and that every time you try to open up to someone, you *pitifully* attempt to teach them what it is. But I'm glad I found this resource and it is sooo comforting to know that there are people out there who know this condition and how it practically affects people. Thank you!

  2. I have been helped in my battle with doubt by reading the Nicene Creed out loud every day, and praying the Lord will give me spiritual understanding, and a believing heart. I love what you say about Scrupulosity not being a lack of faith but being a mental hijacking of our relationship with God. That is exactly what it is. I had been a Christian 32 years when my OCD started to affect my relationship with God. It's been 16 months but He has held on to me. Thank you for your articles. I live in the UK.

  3. Hello (and trigger warning),

    I have OCD and have sought treatment for it in the past. My OCD themes have been contamination, HOCD/POCD and any other kind of sexual deviancy, and some scrupulosity items as well. I was of course only diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (of which the doctors said my OCD emerged from). I have been dealing with this since I was about 14 and only realized it was OCD/GAD when I was about 26. I am 45 now and have recently been dealing with a whooper of a flare up.

    For about six months now, I have been having doubts about salvation. Not that I am doubting what God says or His promises. My doubt is if I did what was required in order to be saved by Jesus (call upon the name of the Lord, a.k.a. ask Him to save you.) I have said the "Bible Way to Heaven"/"Sinner's Prayer" so many times. I have even come up with my own version but basically it is where I state what I believe about Jesus and ask Jesus to save me (call upon the name of the Lord).

    I would document with a date/time stamp when this would be done. But my anxiety/OCD would cause some doubt about it like telling me "You didn't really pray to Jesus, you only wrote down a date/time stamp to relieve the anxiety". I kept doing it over and over. Eventually (with the advice of my pastor and fellow church member) I got rid of that stack of papers documenting the dates/times that I asked Jesus to save me. The stacks of paper were just going to get thicker anyhow.

    This even made me doubt that I gave the Gospel to my parents, sister, and three kids. I know I have done it. But with them, I am redelivering the Gospel to them and documenting it (they sign it) so I know it is done. At least I can relieve the anxiety/doubt (for the most part) that they are saved because I have their signature and I have taken my faulty anxiety/OCD memory and doubt out of the equation.

    As for me, I still experience the doubt of assurance in that I keep doubting if I prayed to Jesus to save me and complied with what the Bible says to do to get saved (the same Bible quotes you had in your article). It's an easy thing to do but I keep having doubts and my anxiety/OCD won't let me document it. So basically, I pray to God about it in my daily prayer…which is kind of another compulsion but at least I am talking to God about it and it helps me a little.

    In this section of my prayer to God, I state to Him (and also to help myself) that I am saved by Jesus because I believe that He is the Son of God who died on the cross to pay for all of my sins and rose again. And because I have asked him many times to save me (and also add a prayer to Jesus within my daily prayer to God by stating "and just in case, Jesus please save me, Amen"). And also because I trust only Jesus to save me, nothing else. I state that I have done what the Bible says to do to get saved by Jesus and therefore I am (putting the assurance on what the Bible says and not me).

    Sounds good, but then anxiety/OCD creeps in and causes more doubt. I feel anxiety/doubt when I say "I am trust only Jesus to save me". Even though I do only trust Jesus because I know there is nothing else that can save any of us as backed up by Ephesians 2:8-9. I power through it because "feelings" to include "relief" are not reliable to us sufferers. To combat this, I pray to God that He knows all of this as well (what I said in the paragraph above) and what is truly in my heart and mind and knows what anxiety/OCD does to me. And then I state that I am leaving my salvation in His hands. This is to basically trust God to combat what the anxiety/OCD "says".

    Ultimately, I limit (or try to) how many times I have to reassure myself that I am saved by Jesus by limiting it to working it out/discussing this only during my daily prayer with God. I don't know if this is ok. I do know that there is NO WAY I can just let this go and let God solve it which is what I ultimately did with my other OCD themes (HOCD, POCD, etc). I can't do it because this is something that has to be done before we leave this life. I'm sure you know what kind of fear this leads to…

    I get bombarded by this fear almost every 3 to 5 minutes. I have to tell myself that "I am saved by Jesus, wait for the next daily prayer to find out why". This is still fairly new to me and I am tweaking it but I have only been doing this for a couple days. Any advice from you Mrs. Eckert or anybody on this site is welcome.

    1. Limiting how many times per day that you reassure yourself is actually very good. That is one of the first steps in OCD recovery. Ultimately, we want to get to a place where we aren’t reacting to the fears at all, and we are simply trusting Christ no matter what our emotions and the “fake news” of our thoughts throw at us. But this is hard to jump to directly, cold turkey, when you’re at a place of facing these fears every 3-5 minutes. So learning to space out, limit, or restrict your reassurance is often a first step that people take. It’s more attainable than the “cold turkey” method. I’ve done the same in my own experience. Trying to reassure yourself only a certain number of times per day, and then gradually decreasing that as you are able to trust God more sounds very appropriate. Keep up the good work!

      PS are you working yet with a therapist who specializes in OCD?

      1. No. I was in the past but got what I needed out of it from that perspective. I'm trying to tackle this from the spiritual side. The therapists/doctors that I have dealt with were good but I doubt they are believers so would not be able to help me with what I really need help with spiritually.

        I honestly think this is something that I will have to deal with for the remainder of my days in this life. But I keep praying to God to guide me to the solution or what I have to do. Another thing that is driving me nuts about this is that I have no idea why these attacks have been happening so strongly lately.

        I wonder if it is just anxiety/OCD doing its thing, or if there is something wrong that I need to correct, or if God is testing me, or if it is the enemy attacking me. I wonder because my anxiety/OCD has gotten me to walk away from God once or twice (I am ashamed to say).

        1. Sometimes OCD ebbs and flows with the stressors of life. Sometimes (specific to women) it can rise in tandem with changing hormones (pregnancy, monthly cycles, or menopause). Sometimes it just comes on strongly and we don’t have a clear reason why, but I have always been a strong believer that these mental health crises are not “tests” or “punishment” from God, or an indicator that something is wrong with you. I take this theological stance from John 9, which might be good for you to review!

    2. I wanted to say thank you for your honesty in this post. It helped me enormously because I saw so much of my own struggle reflected in what you said. It has made such a huge difference to know I am not alone in this battle humanly speaking. I know the Lord never leaves us alone but as others have said Scrupulosity is a lonely place to be especially in a small church.

  4. Hi Jaimie, I read your article and thought Wow – this is me. I had already been diagnosed with Scrupulosity by my counsellor which is why I was searching for relevant articles. It's so encouraging to know there is an explanation for my struggle. I feel alone in my church because no one who has not experienced Scrupulosity can understand it, and those who don't struggle with doubt look with suspicion on those of us who struggle with it constantly. I wish there was more of Jesus's love and grace in the church. You have my email address. If you have time to email me I would love it if we could pray for each other. Thank you so much for your encouragement to others who struggle.

    1. Hi Julie! I know so much what you mean about how difficult it is for people to understand this disorder when they’ve never experienced it. It’s easy for them to see it as a “lack of faith” or something. But you’ll pull through this! I’ve said a prayer for you just now and I hope you will have speedy and easy recovery.
      God’s blessings,

    2. I feel the same way. I just posted about my salvation doubt and I am talking with my pastor and a trusted church member about this. They are understanding and helpful but they do not suffer what we suffer from so their help is limited. I could go back into therapy again but I pretty much know the "science" behind what we suffer and the doctors most likely don't even believe in God. I feel it is better for me to approach my Generalized Anxiety Disorder/OCD/scrupulosity/etc from the spiritual side this time around.

      1. TacZ28, have you considered a Christian counsellor? I have been in counselling with a counsellor who is with Biblical Counsellors UK, or if you're in the US the equivalent is CCEF. I have made huge progress with her help. I regularly panic because I can't feel my faith, and she pointed out to me that my desperation as I cry out to God is the evidence of my faith. I have been clinging on to Jesus since my OCD first took away my assurance of salvation 16 months ago. I know that by clinging on to Him I am clinging on to the One who is the Resurrection and the Life. And in clinging on to Him I can see my trust in Him reflected. Knowing that has helped me a lot.

        Have you read 'Is It Unspiritual to be Depressed?' by Paul Ritchie? He is a pastor who struggles with OCD and it is by far the most helpful book I have read. The quote I found most helpful was "The lives of many godly Christians, the experience of the psalmists, the suffering of our Saviour and the teaching of Scripture all show that one of the ways that we honour God is holding on to Him for dear life in the midst of inner turmoil and pain."

        Keep clinging on to Jesus and crying out to Him. You could also try making Psalms of lament your own as a way of crying out to God and also expressing your faith in Him. I've also found that very helpful.

        Also I'm sure you've already done this but get as many people as you can praying for you. Prayer is powerful 🙏

        I hope some of this is helpful.

        God bless you.

  5. Thank you so much for your articles. It is such a relief to know that others deal with the same incessant doubts and lack of assurance because it can feel very lonely. Thank you for pointing people to Jesus.

    1. Hi Jenny, I totally agree. It's made a huge difference to me to find this site and read what others have said.

      God bless you.

  6. What about Acts 16:31: “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.””
    ‭‭Acts‬ ‭16‬:‭31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬. I have always struggled with if I have called verbal out loud on the Lord since I pray in my mind.

  7. Hi Jaimie. Your analogy was great!!! I was able to follow it just fine! It made perfect sense! Thank you for that!! All your blog posts are SO incredibly helpful that they even bring tears of relief to my eyes, that I think "Gee I'm 'normal' lol. I'm not the only one who thinks and feels that way!. :’) It’s so beyond amazing, how all the thoughts you state that ‘we’ have in response to whatever(you know what I mean, I don’t know how to say it), that you SO get it!!😃 Wow! Thank you immeasurably!!! May God bless your new year abundantly!!!

    1. Ps to my comment Jaimie. Your blog posts help SO much that even after I’ve read them, I’ll leave your email alert about the latest one in my Inbox(marked as unread to make sure it doesn’t disappear due to those weird technology glitches, ugh!) for quite awhile before I file it into your folder: “Scrupulosity-Jaimie”
      Ps2. One person posted (I think her name was Melissa), paraphrased, that each latest blog is the best one of all, that they just keep better each time (or something to that effect/affect?). This is SO true for me too!! You are Heav-sent, and I mean that literally! Thanks be to God for you!

  8. Wow, this article shed some light on my situation, through years of trying to set my mind on Christ enough through pure OCD thought processes waiting to finally sense the lightbulb come on or that click for me to go “I truly do believe in Jesus, always going back and checking that my belief is genuine which led all the way to strong doubting about who Jesus is. Finding the parts of your article where you can call upon the name of the Lord and be saved and this should lead to a desire to turn from sin, but even in that I get caught up in ruminating about actually really having the desire to repent. Always checking my heart on a situation and finding that I fail a lot in repenting. That Jesus still covers you by his grace. Some days I want to give up and throw in the towel because it doesn’t seem like I cared as much as I once did from being burnt out mentally over the years. Thank you for this article. It did help to give me some things think about.

  9. Jaimie, thank you for relaying your personal experiences with scrupulosity and offering guidance to those of us who experience it. I have dealt with it for most of my 52 years, and I was diagnosed with ocd when I was about 30. I kept most things to myself for most of those 30 years, suffering so badly inwardly. I am presently going to counseling for this. It has been so devastating for me, for my marriage, and for my family. Woukd it be possible to email you ,ince you deal with scrupulosity personally, with questions regarding a few experiences that I've had that I just really don't know how to address?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve suffered so much. Scrupulosity is no joke, it can really impact a person and their family.

      There are a couple ways that we could discuss your personal situation. Option 1 would be to book a private one-on-one coaching session at Option 2 would be to join our online group coaching group (a lovely bunch of people just like you and me), we meet twice per week and have open Q&A at the end of each session. Option 3 would be to leave your question in a comment below any of my blog posts (you can write your comment anonymously if you like) and I will do my very best to reply in a timely manner.

      God’s blessings on your journey as you seek health, wholeness, and spiritual peace. Merry Christmas!

  10. Jamie-
    I don’t think I’ve commented on any of your posts before, but just want you to know what a huge blessing you have been in my life, and how God has used your posts and also your Psalms devotional to help me walk through my OCD. I can’t thank Him enough for you. Know that there are many silent readers…maybe not commenting…being touched and ministered to through your journey and your willingness to follow His leading in writing these posts. The swamp analogy brought me to tears as this is exactly how I have felt!

    Wanted to share with your readers a verse that God brought me to this week- “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him” (1 John 3:20). How wonderful! He is greater than my emotions. And to hear the Apostle John relate with the experience of thoughts and feelings of condemnation…but he bids us look up through the skylight, because God is greater ❤️

      1. I love that verse too and indeed it is very comforting, but what about the verse right after it? I don't mean to be a party pooper or cause anyone to have more anxious spirals, but I just wanted to know, what does 1 John 3:21 – "If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence towards God" – mean?

  11. Hi Jaimie,
    This is a follow-up to my response to your post sent yesterday.
    All OCD sufferers know, or should know, that this affliction is fear-based. In order to help solve this problem, it would behoove each one of us to discern what we fear. Your post addresses our concern regarding assurance of salvation which is likely the fear that we all have. I have thought about this further since my first response yesterday.
    Upon challenging myself, I believe that the power of the Cross (Jesus death and resurrection) did conquer all of man's sin, past, present and future. I then asked myself if I feel that I am the one exception to that belief. In other words, do I believe that I am the one person who cannot be saved. In pondering that question, my logical mind concluded that that just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Therefore, I must also be saved. However, that did not end my search within myself. Last night or this morning, I imagined speaking directly with Jesus and stated to Him that I choose Him. My question for Him was will He choose me? My question for you, Jaimie, is, can you provide me with a couple of Scripture references that state that when we come to Jesus, that He accepts us unconditionally? The intrusive thoughts that I battle with daily so attack my faith and are so egregious that they generate an uncertainty within me that is extremely difficult to discount. Lastly, I know and want to add that the thoughts need to be discounted in their entirety in order to defuel

    1. Hi Jerry,
      Good thoughts, I appreciate you sharing. The one tweak I would suggest to your thought processing is the part where you said that these thoughts need to be discounted in their entirety in order to defuel them. Unfortunately, the nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder is that it is never entirely possible to achieve this. The chronic doubt will ALWAYS offer us a “yes, but…” I could provide you with excellent passages that soothe the mind, but you and I will always feel momentary comfort and then say, “yes, but…”

      I imagine that is why you were not able to end the search within yourself. We have to be careful of always looking for that “golden answer” that will finally, once and for all end our uncertainty. Such answers do not exist. The Christian life is one of faith, and faith is the bridge that carries me over the deep dark chasms of the unknown. Thus, unknowns are a necessary part of the life of faith. This is part of why Paul writes that “now abides faith, hope, charity–these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Why is love better or more important than hope and faith? Because hope and faith are temporary, earthly qualities that will one day pass away. In heaven, when we can see Jesus face to face and ask all our questions, we no longer need faith and hope. “For hope that is seen is not hope,” Paul writes. When we live in a context of 100% understanding (heaven!) hope and faith will finally pass away. But love will remain.

      So let’s be careful to not fall for the “yes, but” of OCD. There is no answer that will satisfy the craving of a chronically doubting brain. The only solution is faith. Choosing to trust and let go.

      Keep looking up,


      1. Thank you Jaimie for your response to my post. I am so grateful for your input as so many of us battle with Scrupulosity. It seems quite ironic that the reason why we suffer with this subset of OCD is due to the degree of importance that religion plays in our lives. I just love the way you ended your response ("Keep looking up")!


      2. I have struggled with this for about as long as I can remember, and I am 62. It has been so hard, and people who don't have this issue cannot possibly understand. Thank you for understanding.

  12. I thought I accepted Christ when I was a kid and was baptized. I since heard the hilt spirit guide and talk to me (once). It was so clear! Then I started my doubts. I don’t remember calling on him! But I remembered believing! That was it! I was in my 20s and I kept thinking I did it wrong that I was to be remorseful. Did I repent? Did I know I needed him? I cried out to God so many times but then I would be afraid to be baptized. I was sure I was his! His spirit was in me, but I started doubting until I said I would be baptized again and nothing changed. I felt I did it a different time and thought so I need to be baptized again. Over 17 years I’ve done this-back and forth. It got so bad I have doubted I was ever his. I have doubts I believe at all! I keep saying ok I’ll do it again, do I need to be baptized? So then I feel disobedient to God that I don’t really love him. How could I have loved him and served him for this long and now be in this place? I feel so badly that im making it about me. I even feel like he’s been trying to tell me it’s all about what he did, but I keep thinking I need to do something. My faith has failed so poorly. Fear, torment, fear of loss of the HS. What should I do?

  13. Hello again Jaimie,
    I just read your post for the second time and it is awesome and could not be clearer. In my research regarding OCD and Scrupulosity, I can across a definition some time sgo that "it is not a lack of faith but a mental health hijacking of our relationship with God". I, and, certainly, most of us, would like to believe that we have a strong faith and that, maybe, because of this dreadful affliction, we need more reassurance than those who are not OCD sufferers. After all, OCD is also referred to as the doubting disease.
    In Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 8-9, as you are well aware, it says, "For it is by God'grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that noone can boast about it". This example from the apostle Paul, places the focus not on ourselves, but on God Himself regarding our salvation. As you have so clearly addressed in your post, we sufferers need to do our utmost to take the pressure of reassurence of salvation away from ourselves and concentrate our focus on our God working His magic in our lives.
    Thanks again for taking the time to present this extremely important message to us. Wishing you and all of your readers the blessings and joys in the celebration of the birth of our beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ. How appropriate and timely as He came to save all of us!!!

  14. Reading this was so helpful for me, Finding an answer to why I am the way I am is helping me so much. I was 9 years old at church camp when I first trusted in Jesus. I did a lot of re dedicating my life back to him through the years. One year in my late teens I deliberately chose to sin and I wasn’t sorry for almost a year…I stopped the sin eventually but I felt so far from God …eventually I needed to make absolutely sure God forgave me. I prayed with my parents, pastors, other Christians but assurance never lasted…I even ended up in the hospital from a nervous breakdown.
    I truly thought I had hardened my heart too much and that God was done with me.
    God is so good, faithful, forgiving and merciful. He is giving me the assurance I need.
    Thank you so much for sharing this❤️

  15. I have a crippling anxiety about assurance of salvation, not sure where it came from but it hit me like a brick. I always find myself confused and hopeless and having anxiety attacks at night (especially at night). Some habits I’ve picked up I can’t control or stop and temptation always seems to have its hold on me, which makes me doubt everything. This article I stumbled upon really helped, it really made me see how much God really loves us, he is NOT an abandoning God, He has a plan for each one of us no matter how hard we try to avoid it. God truly wants the best for each of us. I’ve realized how impatient I really am, I think because of how powerful God is, He can just do whatever quickly and get it over with, but that is not the big picture. God always works in HIS own time, not ours. Sometimes I continue to be impatient when I get hit with grief and anxiousness, but it is always comforting to know God is with me and loves me no matter what. I really loved this article and I really liked the analogy of it. It was extremely comforting. I really appreciate it:)

  16. Thank you for writing this, I appreciate what you do. I feel so understood when reading your posts and I see and feel the gentleness, understanding and care you put into your writing and it’s wonderful. I thank God for your gift and that we readers get to read this. And I am very happy that you remind us that salvation is about faith in Jesus Christ and not about works. It’s so easy to fall into the pit trap of believing in ourselves rather than Jesus.
    Again thank you!

  17. I love all your empathy for us.I especially like this. I've doubted my salvation all my life.Now I am 65 years old. I will have this article copied and keep it always. This will remind me of God's love and that HE is always working in my life. I see many things in this article that fits me. Thank 😊 you.

  18. I think scholastic culture hinders understanding of God's grace in this area. It's so easy to read the Bible like we're in class, where we start with a 0 in the class and the goal is a 100. (The Sunday school movement and having a lot of kids' classes taught by professional teachers accidentally reinforces this.) But when we read it the right way round – that God starts us at 100 and the actual goal is to not leave the class – so many things come into focus.

    Jaimie, I love your heart and your efforts to lift up a group of people that, frankly, very few Christians think to rescue. I have called your work my secret weapon in getting over various things, and I wish the absolute best for you.

  19. Thanks to the author of this article. This is my second time today reading about how to experience the assurance of salvation from different sources. It's no coincidence as my doubts are calmed and fears disappeared. God is good all the time and my salvation is dependent upon His efforts not mine. His righteousness not mine own. His grace not my works. Thanks be unto God

  20. This was excellent. I don’t struggle with security of salvation but I worry about constantly disappointing God and getting to heaven and getting a lecture of all the ways I’ve failed. Which even as I type this I know is ridiculous but the thoughts are there at times anyway. So it is kind of the same thing. I so appreciated your swamp example and it made me laugh. I totally get what you were saying. Thank you for what you’re doing. It has been a help to me! I think highly empathetic people can struggle with this. Our greatest strengths, not kept in check, become our greatest weaknesses and it’s a daily battle. Add mid forties hormones and hello! Some days I just wish Jesus would come back but every day I must choose to trust him.

    1. Yes that’s right, Jaime! Thanks for commenting back on the swamp analogy…I almost deleted it before publishing the article because I was thinking it was a little weird to call ourselves a swamp. lol! Glad it came through more or less clearly! 🙂

      1. Hi Jaimie! Oh my goodness!! Thanks be to God Jamie that you did NOTdelete the swamp article/blog!! It hit home completely, and it STILL comes to my mind (and heart!)!!!❤️😌 Such a beautiful image, yes imagine that, a swamp as a beautiful image! But it helps me to remember that Jesus is still doing His work in me, I just need to be patient, and…wait!🙏

    2. Hello

      I totally agree with your mid fourty hormones here! Yes this was a wonderful article. It is so simple but our OCD makes it so hard. Being empathetic is sure a "blursing"

      Jaimie Eckert I was just thinking how you have totally one upped the devil. He tried to bring you down, but now you are using your difficulties to help so many of Gods lambs. Makes me just smile thinking about it!

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