In his class work of literature, Future Shock, Alvin Toffler spoke of a time when our culture would change so radically that the human mind could not cope with it. I believe we are seeing that come to pass. In the early years of my ministry, counseling was almost unheard of. The need seemed to be rare. Today, a Pastor who has no counseling skills has a tough time finding a job. People deal with emotional pain in several different ways. I would like to address four of them today.
(1) Burying it in psyche
(A) Derives from the Greek word for “soul”, psukee. Try to forget it; but that’s impossible, it will surface. This leads to all kinds of emotional problems.
(B) Even when you do not know that it is there it will create problems. Psychologists agree almost universally that we tend to forget which is bad and remember only the good.
(C) All of us carry around a load of unresolved feelings.
(2) Try to fix it on own
(A) Depending on the severity of the pain this can be successful.
(B) Coping mechanisms differ from person to person. (Alcohol or drugs, Overeating, Promiscuity, Hostility toward the offending gender)
(C) Inability to confront and conquer the problem aggravates it. Many times the efforts to confront the problem personally are doomed to failure.
(3) Professional counseling
(A) Secular counseling is dangerous. The practice of psychology is founded on a mixture of Darwinism and Humanism. Secular counselors tend to see Christianity as a crutch.
(B) There are exceptions, but be selective. Christian counselors vary greatly in training. Many have been tainted with secular training. Some counsel to meet their own need to be needed. The Christian counselor cannot heal your emotional hurts!
(C) The role of the Christian counselor is to bring you to the place where you can let Jesus heal your hurts! This may take some time. This is not a tirade against Christian counselors any more than a sermon on divine healing is a tirade against medical doctors. If you do not get inner healing at an altar of prayer, by all means seek the help of a godly counselor!
(4) Inner healing from God
(A) Several benefits to going this route: Much quicker; Much more thorough; Much more efficient; requires less man-hours
(B) What makes a good candidate for this kind of inner healing?
(C) Must be able to identify the source of the pain, willing to deal with the problem creating the pain, believe that God will heal you of this pain, willing to make yourself accountable to someone.
Let’s pray a simple prayer asking God to reveal the source of the pain in our spirits. (Pray) Now, if God has shown you a problem area in your spirit, come and be healed.