My middle son is studying sports psychology at college and he is passionate about it. He is an athlete and an intellectual, so sports psychology is a very good fit for him. When he is home on break or has the opportunity to talk with us on the phone he often shares what he’s learning at school–the latest theory on positive thinking, the newest literature on the power of habits, cutting-edge research on overcoming obstacles, etc. I love a good intellectually stimulating conversation so I happily engage with him.
My son will tell you, however, that more than once he has heard me exclaim something along the lines of: “You know, Jesus said that…2000 years ago.” Or, “Hey, God actually came up with that idea.” The point being: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Solomon said it well in the book of Ecclesiastes:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)
Basically, I have tried to teach our children that, Jesus is the answer to every problem…I believe that to be true with all my heart.
You see, the Bible is full of psychology. I mean, after all, God did create minds…and thought…and theories. The Bible holds a wealth of information for emotional and psychological well-being… and for life success, in general.
“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
The Word of God is where we need to go for wisdom, support, and encouragement.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
It is the instruction book for life.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:6-8 (NIV)
Isn’t that the most beautiful passage? God wants us to know that he is all-sufficient and His Word can meet our every need. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically address every one of today’s psychological problems, it does address the underlying cause of them, such as: feelings of unworthiness, fear, guilt, regret, and anger.
In Galatians we find the description of an emotionally balanced, stable person:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
This person’s life has been shaped and impacted by a relationship with Jesus Christ and an adherence to His Word. We, too, can exhibit the traits of an emotionally stable and impactful life as described above. It is a matter of turning our lives over to Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through the trenches and minefields of life.
The problem with most modern psychology is that it is based on the false premise that man is basically good and full of wisdom and can solve his own problems apart from God.
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” 1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV)
There may be times when we will need the wise counsel of other Christians as we walk through life, but, we must be wary of any advice or counsel that is contrary to the Word of God.
I have no doubt my son (who is a believer), will find his way through the quicksand and pitfalls of modern psychology and end up with his heart firmly grounded in God’s psychology, where he too, will wisely tell his own children that…
“Jesus is the answer to every problem.”
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:6-8 (NIV)