I spent a lot of time last year in the world of Counseling & Psychology. My own mental struggles drove me to books, journals, a degree program—even to a Christian counselor’s office—in search of information that would help make sense of the complexities in my thinking.
Some Christians warn others not do dip their toes into the dangerous waters of Psychology. Though I sympathize with these folks’ perspective (I’ll get to that in a minute), I don’t completely agree with it. Psychology is not “the devil’s religion.” It’s simply the study of the human mind and behavior. There are a vast amount of documented observations of abnormal thought & behavioral patterns that have been collected over the years. This information can be an excellent resource for people who want to better understand and overcome their own mental struggles. It was for me.
But there’s one prominent idea I keep coming across in Christian Integrationist circles (those who seek to integrate psychology and Christian theology) that I violently disagree with. The idea is this: In order to receive and enjoy God’s love, I must first believe I am worthy of his love.
The Christian Counseling professionals with whom I’ve come into contact or whose material I’ve read argue that many mental issues are rooted in false beliefs that an individual has about God and/or themselves. Amen. I agree. We think wrongly because we don’t see rightly. We desperately need for our core beliefs about God, ourselves, and reality to align with what is real and true. But to say that one of these core beliefs must be “I’m worthy of God’s love”—this is where my amens end.
This is also where I sympathize with Christians who avoid Psychology like the plague. The science itself isn’t bad. But some of the humanistic beliefs within it are so blatantly opposed to Christian doctrine and so dangerous to a weak, unsteady soul that it’s almost worth throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Demonic is the counsel that tells someone he must see himself as worthy or deserving of God’s love. It flies in the face of God’s Word and steers the struggling person far away from a right view of reality and therefore far away from real, lasting happiness.
Modern psychology may portray man as lovable and good, but the Bible paints a completely different picture.
- “They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” Isaiah 53:3
- “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great . . . that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
- “. . . the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth” Genesis 8:21
- “ If you then, who are evil . . .” – Jesus to his disciplines, Luke 11:13
- “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” Romans 7:18
- “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” – Jesus to his disciples, Luke 17:10
Sinful mankind is not worthy of God’s love. Period.
BUT . . . does mankind’s unworthiness of God’s love mean He doesn’t love mankind? Praise his name that the answer is NO!
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
- “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
- “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Matt Moore