What does the Bible say about psychology?

lappby Dr. John Lapp

Many years ago I was presented with a drawing that depicted a pastor or counselor sitting at his desk, probably contemplating what he should say.  The counselor was facing the artist rendering of Christ, whose back was facing the viewer.  Christ, the Divine Counselor (that, by the way, was the title given to the drawing) had one of his hands obviously making a point to the counselor while he was looking at the face of Christ.  That drawing reminded me of a very important fact.   Counselors are trained for several years in the theories/ philosophies of how counseling should work, and although many years (actually for me, more than a decade) of graduate training, then two-years of internship and licensing exams in the individual state(s) he chooses to practice, has produced an abundance of knowledge, that is often not enough.   This is where the power, and wisdom of God becomes available to the Christian counselor, and ONLY to the Christian when his knowledge is not sufficient to address and help resolve the problem(s) presented by the one(s) seeking his help and guidance.  In the book of James (1:5) it states “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”   At times in my nearly 40 years of practice with individuals, couples, and families I have had the privilege of seeking the wisdom of God when presented with what is known in England as a “sticky wicket,” meaning a difficult situation with an even more difficult solution.  While being presented with this difficult situation, I have prayed in my heart for God to give me the wisdom that only He holds in abundance.  Amazingly, my heart and mind receives this wisdom and the solution(s) become available.

This same wisdom is not available only to me or others who practice in the profession of marriage and family counseling.  This same wisdom, James states, is available to “any of you,” and is for “all” who will be willing to take advantage of this wonderful present from God.  It is also equally important that because of God’s rich mercy and love that when we ask for this wisdom, He “upbraideth not,” meaning that He does not belittle us,
demean us, or ‘scold’ us for asking!

He knows that while for many years we may have accumulated knowledge that is helpful in many situations, there are still some situations where we are ‘non-plused’…confused…not sure…wondering what I should do….what I should say.   Not only does God tell us this wisdom “…will be given,” it states that it will be given “liberally,” meaning in abundance, even super-abundance.   WOW!  That sure beats an abundance of  knowledge, no matter its’ original source(s).

While many seek the counsel of a pastor or a professional counselor who is a born-again Christian, many have sought the help of other than a Christian.  A warning from the scriptures is necessary at this point.  While many psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, or other mental health counselors have accumulated much knowledge and have earned many degrees (some seemingly have as many degrees as is found on a thermometer), Psalms 1:1 states “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly….”   The well-meaning counselor whose knowledge appears to render him/ her ready to give advise to his patient/ client(s), unless that counselor is operating under the direction of The Divine Counselor, “blessings” will not be available to the one(s) seeking his/ her counsel.

Finally, it is important to know that, not only is God, through Christ, the Divine Counselor, his very name (see Isaiah 9:6) is Counsellor, among several other names presented by the prophet, Isaiah, and He did not have to go to graduate school to earn that title, nor is He required to be licensed by any particular state to hold that license….that is His Name!   Furthermore, he is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you don’t have to call and make an appointment.   You also don’t have to check to see if the costs are covered by your insurance company…but you can be ASSURED that “IT SHALL BE GIVEN HIM”!!!

Seek His wisdom, and be assured that the counselor who believes on His Name “Counsellor”  will be able to have His wisdom available to help you in your time of need.

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