Friday, March 13, 2015

Psychology Is More Than I Need

After detailing the three major problems with "Christian" psychology, let's talk about the underlying issue. When we join psychoanalysis to Scripture, we very openly admit our belief that God's Word lacks the ability to address a person's spiritual needs.

Okay, I put that point bluntly. And, if you must know, I did so very deliberately because most evangelicals honestly don't realize how deeply their reliance on psychology attacks the doctrine of Scripture's sufficiency. In fact, I suppose that the vast majority of evangelicals who combine psychology with God's Word sincerely believe that the Lord uses the "science" of psychology to "go deeper" than the Bible without contradicting it.

They would regard psychology as a provision the Lord has given us so that, in better understanding ourselves, we can more effectively apply Biblical principles to our daily lives. Of course, they assume that psychology will ultimately eliminate temptation so that they can honor and obey the Lord without effort...which perhaps explains why they feel such an urgent need for something "more."

I often articulated to myself (but never to others) that  I wanted "more" than the Bible offered in dealing with my sin of anger. The Bible simply says to put anger away and walk in patience and humility. I wanted, however, to understand the  "root causes" of my anger, thinking that such an understanding would eliminate the emotion and in turn eradicate the temptation.

Sounds wonderful, until you realize that the focus shifts from self-denial and trust in God's authority to my own comfort.

This morning's episode might demonstrate a more Scriptural approach to anger. Just as I needed to complete my PCA's time sheet and print it for her to sign (we need to  fax all the time sheets before she returns Monday), Adobe Reader froze. When I restarted it, Dell started installing 29 updates. I knew my PCA didn't feel well and wanted to go home, which pressured me.

John got on his computer and opened my second email address where (praise God) I daily back up time sheets. He found hers, but it printed improperly, forcing him to retype the entire two-week time sheet from scratch. As he struggled typing in all the numbers, I vented my rage and frustration without restraint. Finally, he commanded me to stop.

I immediately thought of Scriptures about wives submitting to husbands and about controlling anger. Although I felt like continuing my temper tantrum, I simply obeyed God's Word. I didn't fall back on psychological explanations for this latest tirade. I simply acknowledged my sin and repented. Knowing the Lord's will that I exercise self-control was sufficient.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~~2 Peter 1:3-8 (ESV)
The Lord has taught me that, as Scripture deepens my knowledge of Who He is and how He sees things, I don't need the man-made disciple of psychology. His Word tells me everything I need to know.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this honest account. I find myself in similar situations with my sin when raising my children. It is much simpler to call it what it is and repent of it than to attempt to explain it away and excuse it. It feels so bad to sin against the children I love but I believe that is because Jesus is working in me. Otherwise I wouldn't hate my sin so much. I need Him so desperately and He doesn't seem to mind allowing me to come to that place.
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was well put. Thanks for using your own account of what this looks like. It really nailed it down practically. Definitely, a lesson I can apply today.

    ReplyDelete

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