Monday, January 27, 2014

Christians, Stop Deominzing Nuetral Words, Pt 1- Psychology

I've noticed a trend among church-goers. We seem to misunderstand or forget the original meanings of words when liberals or secularists hijack them and change the meaning.

Psychology is one of those. I cringe when I hear people say, "I don't believe in psychology. I believe in turning to God." Really? You don't believe in: 


noun \-jē\
: the science or study of the mind and behavior
: the way a person or group thinks

? God created psychology. Just like everything in life, it's His; it doesn't belong to anyone who may have hijacked that term. God created our minds and sets up the various things that may influence our behavior. Furthermore, I believe He wants us to study these things and figure out why they work the way they do. If by saying that, you mean you don't agree with modern pop psychology that wants to blame the past (the mother, haha) for everything and treat everything with behavior modification and/or drugs, then I would have to agree with you, but let's use the right terminology. 

This doesn't mean that everything written in a modern psychology textbook is wrong or that seeing a psychologist is never going to be helpful, even if they use some modern techniques. The human brain and behavior are SO complex. I'm a firm believer that our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual lives are interlinked. 

I, for example, struggle with anxiety. My father and his mother both had it, so perhaps it's inherited. Then again, it got worse after 2 different traumatic accidents I had in which I was injured, so maybe it's caused by circumstances in life. It got WAY worse on occasions when I was pregnant or post-partum, so then maybe it's just all hormones & body chemistry? Prayer, worship, and staying close to Christ helps to calm me down, and I firmly believe demonic attack is associated with many mental disorders, so that's something to think about as well. The lie is that every mental disorder or symptom is caused by only ONE of these things. The truth is that each is very multi-faceted. 

There is a popular Christian counseling method called "Biblical Counseling." I was coached on this method by a friend who is trained in it, and I think it's a great tool. The basic premise is that we sin, and in our guilt we run from God instead of turning TO him for forgiveness. This unresolved guilt causes a range of psychological symptoms. The idea is that when we return to fellowship with God through confession, our issues will be resolved. I like its simplicity, and think it gives some great tools. But what they are studying and treating is psychology. The weakness would be if the counselor ignores the health, circumstantial, and even demonic contributions to the symptoms.

If you think you're dealing with demonic attack, this is a great resource.
If you're interested in learning more about conflict, why it happens, and how to handle it, this is an excellent book.
Here is another great one on communication styles and why we misunderstand each other. 
These are both well worth the read.
Don't be afraid to study psychology; just be careful your source follows God's ideas for us, not just man's.


1 comment:

Pam in Ohio said...

Thank you for the suggested books! I will see if I can get them at the library or I will order them if need be.