Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
- Proverbs 3:5-8
I have written before that as far as grades were concerned, Psychology was indeed my worst college subject (11/18/18), but I have used what I learned much more than any other subject in college. In a recent post, I talked about how the hippies that had rejected the moral teaching of society at the time, found their rebellion in error but turned to Psychology instead of Jesus as a result (8/7/19) – not counting the ones that were caught up in the Jesus Movement. Even earlier this week, in Count Your Blessings, I mentioned “better coping with hard times through chemistry.” (Sorry, DuPont for the misuse and modification of the slogan, “better things through chemistry.” I felt it an honor to work for you at one time.)
It seems that you cannot watch four hours of television these days without seeing at least one commercial about a new pill that will cure whatever it is that ails you, of course with thirty seconds of unwanted possible side effects, usually including a slight chance of death. Sorry, I do not need artificial happiness in exchange for something that might kill me.
But Psychology has infiltrated so much of life. My parents would be placed in prison for the way they treated me. I would probably have had serious court fees for the way I punished my children. All of this because some judge thinks that any form of discipline will harm a child’s self-esteem. (What does the judge do when someone is found guilty, other than punish them? What court do I go to the complain about that?) I have witnessed punishment that did not include spanking that worked, but the children in our schools today know that they are ultimately in charge. That is dangerous, and it leads to many students not learning – teachers just glad that they survived.
I am not saying that all medicinal therapies are not warranted. I like what Dr. David D. Burns said in Feeling Good. If medicinal therapy does not coincide with other forms of therapy, it is suspect therapy, and possibly quackery. Even then, there may be exceptions. I know someone who had therapy sessions, understood what the problems were, and continued to receive medication after the sessions stopped. What Dr. Burns mentions in his book is the propensity to hand out “happy pills” the way some doctors hand out opioids for a mild headache. The opioid epidemic is big time news, but since the reporter needs the ‘happy pill’ to cope with reporting the news, no one will complain about that epidemic.
And why? Because more and more of us cannot cope. We have rejected God, but that cannot be the problem. Can it? (As I state dripping with sarcasm.)
Yes, many have rejected God, but we blame our sorrows on God and reject His free gift of Grace, Peace, and Joy. Does it make sense that this concept might have a small flaw?
Will we find every answer at the first church that we attend? No, sadly churches are a collection of flawed human beings. They even admit that they are flawed. When you accept that fact, then you must deal with forgiveness of the other person’s irritating habits while trying to repent of your own. If this argument makes no sense, you either have never seen hypocrisy or you saw it at the door of the church and left without dealing with it.
Where I am going with this? I have no idea but let me take a U-turn.
God loves us. He wants a personal relationship with us. He gave us the Bible so that we can understand Him better, understand ourselves better, and understand the world better. We can talk to God, just like we would talk to anyone that we have a personal relationship with. But God knows that if we were left to our own understanding, at some point, we’d get a little cocky. We might interpret the Bible that He gave to us in an inappropriate fashion, so He suggests we have a church family. A church family is about like a good regular family. The people are nice, except a few, but everyone has problems. Yet, as we learn to overlook those problems, forgive them if necessary, we start realizing what problems we have. Ah, that cocky attitude God wanted us not to have. We could start there. You see, the guy who never comes back to the church the second time because he found hypocrites there? He never learned that he was one of the hypocrites too.
Did the second try make any sense?
Our ultimate problem cannot be found in a pill. Our ultimate problem is our sin that separates us from God. If we confess, turning away from our sins (repenting), we can restore that relationship with God when we have done that and we believe and trust in God. With every problem in our lives, believing and trusting in God is a good start. When there is something medically wrong, beyond our relationship with God, I find no problem with a pill. I may not take a happy pill, but I take about twenty other ones every day. Some are prescribed by a good doctor who is very judicious with happy pills and you have to be bad off before you get a couple of opioids – with follow-up visits.
You can trust God. He is the Great Healer.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.