Upon brief reflection it’s easy to see that the remedy du jour for treating depression solely with medication is based upon very specific assumptions: that its genesis is always within the body (primarily the brain) and that we do not have an inner, invisible mind that directs brain activity. If that is true, then anesthetizing uncomfortable feelings is the wisest choice. However, if Scripture teaches something different, specifically that we have both a brain and a mind (or inner man), then categorizing depression solely as a dysfunction of the brain and turning to medicine first (thereby silencing the emotional voice of the mind) will unavoidably impede the important heart-work that God-ordained suffering is meant to produce.
One of my favorite movies is The Sound of Music. Between the handsome Christopher Plummer and the perky, immensely talented Julie Andrews—and a sound track filled with some of the best music around—it’s hard not to like it. As a young girl, I particularly enjoyed watching Captain Von Trapp and Sister Maria discover their love for each other and thinking, “Wow! How romantic!” Here are some of the lyrics she sang to him,
If you have counseled for any length of time I am sure you have had to wrestle with the topic of forgiveness. A spouse who has committed adultery, a parent who has abandoned a child, a friend who has failed to keep commitments, a boss who has taken advantage, or a rebellious teenager who refuses to obey are all typical in a counseling situation, and demand careful consideration of forgiveness.
Small and Safe It was a beautiful thing to see. I couldn’t stop looking. The setting was a huge and boisterous crowd, mostly men. Probably many of them had had too much to drink. They were coming out of the stadium, celebrating the big win of the home team. There was celebratory grabbing, shoving, and high-fiving all over the place. In the middle of the crowd was a very little boy, just knee-high to many of the men. You’d think he'd be terrified at that moment, aware of how small he was. You’d think that he’d be overcome by his limits, but he wasn’t.
Let’s face it, no one reads a blog like this unless he (or she!) is deeply interested in and committed to growing in their own personal piety and helping others do the same. Because we love the Lord, we all want to grow into men and women who reflect His life more perfectly. For us, the question isn’t: “Should we seek to grow in holiness?”
Oh how we all love the Psalms! Their comforting words have taken us all through lonely nights and fearful experiences. They are where we often turn when in trouble, alone, or despondent. The Psalms have provided deep comfort and encouragement in our most trying times. But there is one Psalm about which I have had ambivalent feeling. For at first read, it describes attributes up to which I grossly fail. Not the comforting words of Psalm 23, which clearly describe the shepherding hand of the Lord. But on closer inspection I see that the Psalm is not really about me at all. Let’s take a look at it. Psalm 15 begins with a poignant question: “O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
From the title of this post, you might think I am going to explain how to counsel your children. But no, actually the post will explain why you should raise your children to be biblical counselors. The connection may not be apparent at first. It took me over ten years to see it myself. I was fresh from learning about Gestalt Psychology in my days at the University of Miami.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaintagainstanyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” – Colossians 3:12-15
Parenting has become more complicated than it needs to be. It used to be, as far as I can tell, that Christian parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, teach them about Jesus, and keep them away from explosives.
Too often the use of a journal has been dismissed as feminine, “something you do when you need counseling,” or too time consuming. But with a bit of reflection (which is all journaling is) we might come to a different conclusion. Many of the great figures in church history has kept a journal, and the church has benefited greatly from this window into their daily life (not as a voyeur,