Text Size: Zoom In

Pastors and Counselors

A man, much my senior, and someone I consider especially wise, once reminded me that followers of Christ “are called to be “saints”, but not necessarily “sane”.

Looking back, I believe his provocative comment reflects the complexity of life in this broken world. The few words that stuck in my mind seem to reflect the wonder of the Gospel of Christ as it is extended to people whose minds are clouded by real physical, emotional, or social factors that do not respond to prayer, Bible, and worship. The result is that in response to their faith they may end up forgiven and adopted by the Father– but misunderstood, neglected, or rejected by the Family.

The Apostle Paul seems to acknowledge that people often come to Christ, and to one another, with problems that require special and individual attention rather than “normal solutions”.  He wrote in his second letter to the Thessalonians, “Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1Thessalonians 5:14). That is more than a quick spiritual fix approach to the human condition.

Over time it’s become apparent to me that, within the family of God, there are problems that deserve more consideration and support than a “trust and obey” approach to faith.

Start anywhere, from our soldiers returning from the terrors of battle with “post traumatic stress”– that is far beyond their ability to just walk or pray away from– to those struggling with deep rooted addictions, violently, abusive behaviors, or a long list of other physical and mental conditions.

In what seems to be a countless list of problems, there are those among us who need not only prayer, the words of Scripture, and encouragement from the family of God, but also wisdom of those who have had similar experience and, or, special training in dealing with biologically rooted depression, life-threatening eating disorders, sexual predation, domestic violence, autism, schizophrenia, bi-polar, etc.

I know I’m repeating now– But at times I feel so overwhelmed by the thought of how many troubled people–caught in such problems– and  repentant as they may be of their harmful choices and behaviors, fall through the cracks, or cannot find a place in our hearts.

Too often the plight of such persons becomes even more complicated when such persons seek help only from spiritual sources, or only from the medical and therapeutic community.

Too many are misunderstood and mistreated. Too many end up losing faith in pastors who try to treat their problem as only “spiritual.” Or, by  contrast– too many end up in the counsel of someone who tries to treat the body, or heart, without prayer, the wisdom of the Bible, or the compassion of a patient Christian community.

But I need to stop now, and listen to you. Because there are dangers on either side, I’d like to know whether you have seen what happens when those with special needs seek spiritual help that lacks understanding of complicating factors, or when such people seek medical, social, or psychological help without adequate spiritual understanding, counsel, and support?

Or, to be fair, has anyone seen such persons consistently helped and honored by a Bible-and-prayer-only approach?

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+65 rating, 70 votes)

41 Responses to “Pastors and Counselors”

  1. kmb41 says:

    I stand in agreement with what you have stated. Being a prime example of what you are speaking about. Churches and their memebers today treat things from a spiritual standpoint, and don’t want to get involved or even try to understand the whole gamit. And individuals like
    myself just stand there and cry out fot help, with no one hearing or even caring to hear. That is when I tell myself God knows and pray for someone to help me walk through this process and then feel guilty because their is no one, that I am suppose to do it alone. The saying ‘ It takes a village” is not only for children it is for the misunderstood and those like myself. Thank you for what you have posted today.

  2. DebbieS says:

    You hooked me with this one…I was raised in a highly dysfunctional home and was physically abused and nearly strangled by my stepfather.
    I became a Christian as a teenager. I have had lots of problems (including major depression) relating to people and understanding the role of the Church in my life. In fact, I am convinced that the churches I belonged to in the past were completely unhelpful.
    But, God has used all of this in my relationship with Him. I have never taken medication for the depression and other psychological problems. (I am also avoiding giving a lot of details in this forum because I do not want to imply that this is the only way to overcome and I would not want someone else to be discouraged because God has taken them on a different path.) I have had some very short-term Christian counseling. My husband says I am the most misunderstood person on the planet because I do not give the impression that I have any emotional or mental shortcomings. (That is God!)I have prayed and prayed and cried and cried and prayed some more. God has used this in my life to break down the walls I had put up to protect myself emotionally and to develop a deep compassion for hurting people.It has taken a long time (30 years)and has been a long road, but looking back I see God’s Hand on my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. paul bishop says:

    I have a diagnosis of a mental illness. I have seen
    and felt hell on earth ( psychotic depression ) as well
    as heaven on earth ( hypo-mania ). I have a past of
    sexual use and abuse which manifests itself in an
    identity crisis. I have been in the ‘pit’ as some
    of the writers of the Bible describe themselves as not
    connected to God. ( desperate for feeling God’s love )
    The cool thing is that I can vertically go to God
    whereas there were many years I could only rely on
    someone else’s support ( horizontal ). I ask you,
    is this a wilderness experience or a chronic medical
    condition? I suppose some of both. I am very thankful
    for the ‘floor’ to vent my ghosts and baggage. God
    Bless those that have created this opportunity to speak!
    Thank you.

  4. michael ajibola says:

    The roles of pastors and counselors can not be over emphasis in lifting the burden in the heart of people.
    Solomon said in a multitude of counselors plans shall be established.
    But the question is how can we know the right person to seek counseling from?. ‘By there fruit we shall know them’ there life style, relationship with God and men, family.
    Conclusively, any body can help regardless the person is acting in the wisdom of God. That is why we have professional- medical, business, family, finance,etc.
    It will be adequately up to task if it is crown with prayers in AGREEMENT.

  5. Your Love Inspires says:

    Since I was sexually abused as a young child, there are many things I do not feel a part of, one of them being Church. Many years were spent in heroin and crack addiction, prison, and the streets of skid row in my quest to run from the trauma, something I could never get out or away from. Today I am a Christian writer and photographer but still cannot get past the hurtful, self centered ways that afflict many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know we are all “in a fallen state” but do not understand how the Gospel in many instances produces no visible change in His followers. I am praying to one day reach out to my brethren who have fallen through the cracks, whether it be addiction, mental illness, post tramatic stress disorder, through the fruits of my work, having empathy for their plight and knowing what it feels like to be an outcast. It is my belief that as followers of Jesus, we have the obligation to reach out to the lost and hurting, the least of these. For many years I asked God why I was still here when by all outward appearance and circumstance, I should have died many years ago as most of my childhood friends did. I am still praying and waiting patiently for an answer but am sure it has to do with love.

    Found the path to paradise, been searching far and wide,
    for many years had gone astray, we finally have arrived.
    Although the road that brought us here, at times was filled with pain,
    God made me who us who we are today, will not let go again…

  6. desert rose says:

    I do not believe that we have been taught to come along the side of those who are hurting. Most pastors, teachers etc. do not have or take the time to really help those who need consistent counseling or counseling that needs to go further than 15-30 minutes.

    And so much of the time, you are given a verse like “you overcome evil with good.” All of us can take the free counseling course available through RBC, Soul Care. It will not only help you with others but it takes you inside of your self and get the “beams” out of your own eyes first in order for the Holy Spirit to be a vessel to help those in need.

    I have avoided at least 4 people the past few years because they are what I call “high maintenance” individuals. They are loud, boisterous and seemingly do not have all their oars in the water. How sad for me, because I have missed the blessing and opportunity for me to come along the side of them and be a servant of Christ in administering to those in need.

    At one point and time I needed a Christian Counselor and was appalled that I had to pay for counseling through the church. They didn’t even have a scholarship available for those who could not pay. Needless to say I could only go for a few sessions and then could not return.

  7. drkennyg says:

    This touches my heart, too. My cousin back east in Philadelphia (I live in Los Angeles) is schizophrenic. She has a lot of problems from time to time and requires occasional hospitalization especially when a new medication is attempted by her doctor. Recently her Mom died and she had to move to an assisted living arrangement which seems to be working OK. We write to each other by snail mail and it seems to be something that is good for both of us, She is a Christian and we share a lot about that so I’m sure that the Lord is with her through all of her problems. It gives each of us comfort to know we will one day be “reunited” in heaven. Her other relatives that live close to her seem to have written her off which in many ways is why we started communicating better. Thanks, Mart.

  8. poohpity says:

    I believe that the basis for anyone associated with mending the human condition is the knowledge of the Word of God. Who would one go to but the One who created such a complex being. With that foundation then comes the disciplines taught for healing the whole person, which at the center is the soul.

    In our society children have become expendable and are so unprotected by parents and the church. If you look at the damage done to the weak and it is no wonder we have so much illness, physical as well as mental. In times of old the children were precious and parents were who guided them into wisdom. Today they are a burden and used by unknowing people as a means to obtain love.

    With the foundation of the bible and then attending school to become a counselor, I understood more than ever that the foundation is essential. God gives us special gifts to care for one another and to bring people to Him for His Glory but we have gotten so wrapped up into self that it is scary. The ones that suffer are the children and then they grow up with all kinds of problems.

    This subject is very dear to my heart and it should be to every body. Yes I believe that the bible and prayer are a very important part of healing because then you learn that God has given gifts to Doctors and Counselors that can promote healing. I guess what the question really should be is what is the motivation by those in helping field is it to assist in healing or a means to achieve personal ambition. Human beings cause more damage to each other than anything else.

  9. daisymarygoldr says:

    First of all I extend my heartfelt prayers to each one of the respondents and their families. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law have been battling this for quite some time and we always make sure that they are regularly taking their medications. Did share Christ and His love with them and do pray for them everyday… leaving the rest to God.

    Did not grow up with the privileges of the professional services of a Pastor or a Counselor and therefore I do not trust human wisdom i.e. “…the wisdom of those who have had similar experience and, or, special training in dealing with biologically rooted depression…etc”. Did grow up with Jesus of the Bible, who has been the answer to my every question and can therefore vouch that He alone is the solution to every problem!

    Do not agree with the wisdom of your senior friend because the Bible says a crowd actually saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons sitting there fully clothed and perfectly “sane” after being healed by Jesus. (Mark 5:15). By His grace we are sinners made into saints and are called to put on the sane mind of Christ.

    In a culture that worships “self” we have shamelessly abused our temples of the Holy Spirit by our gluttonous indulgence in food, medications, drugs, contraceptive pills, TV, porn and all known and unknown addictive substances available on the streets, over the counter or prescribed by an omnipotent health care system.

    With an outright defiance to eternal Biblical truths it is heart-rending to witness the Church itself being caught up in this culture of consumerism. Having our conscience seared with every form of Godlessness we are hopelessly running around in circles with our “pastors and counselors” foolishly trying to make us buy health and happiness. Who is to be blamed? God? -dare not! Church? -We are the church!

    We are paying a heavy price for allowing ourselves to be controlled by the power of this world that has left us with all these physical and mental maladies of living meaningless lives riddled with incurable diseases. The good news is that God hears our cries and will let His goodness and mercies heal our every brokenness. The temporal use of medicines alone will not help fill the void of our eternal souls.
    “Pastors and counselors”- MDH
    A: Neither
    Q: Why?
    A: “Because there are dangers on either side”-MDH
    We need to take a U-turn back to the True Wisdom of God- Jesus Christ, the answer to every ailing heart, mind and soul! (2 Cor. 4:16-17).

  10. mozes says:

    Hi Mart,
    I am new to the message board. The topic you chose for today is one that is very close to my heart. I have lived with depression for the last 14 years of my life. I have done the the “medical” and the “counselling” route. Both are very beneficial and they work hand in hand.
    Living with depression is not a weakness, but a genuine medical condition. My depression is NOT a spiritual issue but a physical condition.
    As much as I would love for the depression to go away, I cannot regret the incredible blessing God has brought to me through the illness. It has become a GIFT. Through it I have seen God’s grace and mercy at work in a powerful way. He loves me to much to leave me as I am. And I am so grateful that He does. Without the suffering I would not have the relationship that I have with Him now. I will be healed one day when I meet Jesus face to face.

    “…I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong…” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

    My experience with the Church and mental illness has not been positive. They don’t know what to do with someone like me and I feel very isolated and lonely. Even though I am hurt by this, I believe it is apart of the journey I must take.

    Mart I hope you bring up more topics like this. The mentally ill community is very misunderstood (much like the lepers of the bible times).

    Note: For those who have never walked through depression/mental illness(or the Valley of the Shadow of Death as I call it) do not think that you know what if feels like or that there are pat answers, because there are none. Please do not judge us!

  11. luvnusa says:

    I would just like to say that my heart (and prayers) go out to everyone who has posted on this board.

    I was interested in this board because someone in my family suffers from bi-polar disorder. My family member does not seek help for this condition (refuses to take medication, refuses counseling, refuses help in any way) and most times, seems to “wallow” in the symptoms and use the condition to make excuses for why they do the things they do (paranoia, binge drinking, physical & verbal abuse to the spouse). I think this condition affects more people in the family, rather than the one who suffers from the symptoms, which I know doesn’t make sense. This family members small children are affected, the spouse is affected (from my perspective, most of all) and almost all of the people this person comes in contact with, but it sometimes seems – not the one who actually has the condition. I know that this sounds horrible on my part, but we have all been dealing with this situation for the past 7 years, and sometimes I almost feel more sorry for everyone else, rather than the person who has the condition. I see this behavior on a daily basis and it just breaks my heart – for everyone involved.

    I have prayed daily (and continue to) to ask the Father to be with this person, the spouse and the children, and to work in this persons life to get the help they need, improve their marriage, to work in their life to heal this sickness and to just lift them up. I also pray for myself that the Father use me in whatever way to try and help and just provide support in any way that I can.

    God Bless You each and every one.

  12. Mart De Haan says:

    I share your enthusiasm for and dependence on our Lord and his word. My point was not that meds or specialists could fill the eternal, spiritual vacuum in our hearts– but that an important service is rendered by those (i.e. doctors and counselors) who can help us understand some of the difference between physical and spiritual struggles.

    I’ve known people with a deep love for Christ and his word whose experience lines up with others who have responded above.

    Also seems clear that the miracles Jesus did to show his identity and to anticipate the ultimate healing that all of his people will eventually experience is not the norm today. Crippled legs, blind eyes– and all other forms of untreatable physical and emotional problems that will be healed in our resurrection bodies– remain part of our earthly struggle (i.e. Paul’s thorn in the flesh– that was used by God to remind him of his weakness and need for grace).

    My guess is that if we had a chance to talk about this at some length we’d be more on the same page than it seems. i.e. I could clarify that my elder friend (now in his nineties) would agree that God calls us to emotional and mental health (at least ultimately and eventually)– but that for now many of the physical conditions that result in troublesome emotional and mental struggles remain part of our earthly burden and weakness.

  13. jgs says:

    i really appreciate the thought that seems to go into this blog. this one in particular hits dead on my life. after years of insensitive and unhelpful advise, i have more or less become a recluse. however, i made a promise to god many years ago that i would never turn my back on him again and i have kept that promise. i guess i will never understand the complexities and dispairities of this life and when i finally get to heaven i won’t care.

    we would all benefit from learning to be good listeners and observers rather than always feeling the need to speak and fix things.

  14. BruceC says:

    A church family is like a mirror in a way. We can allow ourselves to reflect the compassion and understanding of our Lord;(as He intended) or we can be more of a social club and reflect the ways of the world. I think far too many churches have become the latter. People with special needs or those who are really hurting are far too often pushed to the side or worse; pushed out. I have seen it far too many times; and it really breaks my heart. Those who do the “leaving out” have no idea themselves what being “left out” feels like. Our churches need to do a self-check if we truly want to impact lives for Christ.
    Great topic Mart.

  15. daisymarygoldr says:

    Really appreciate you taking the time to clarify things…it was not my intent to show any disrespect to what you, your friend and others here believe about this issue. If my comment was offensive then I’m extremely sorry. That was simply my opinion and is not supposed to be imposing on others…

    As with any illness, mental illness also requires medical attention- there is nothing to argue about this. Miraculous healing is still the norm today (do personally testify to it and so will millions of others) but just as it was in the days of Jesus every blind and crippled are not healed.

    As a follower of Christ, I can only lovingly ‘comfort’ the afflicted in His Body, ‘healing’ and ‘counsel’ belong to Christ- The great Physician and Counselor…unless one insists on having or being a human mediator to Christ. Services of a counselor? Now, this is something I cannot understand or relate to. Never been to one in my entire life…not that life has been a bed of roses for me. Do have a fair share of thorns as well…in fact we all have our own crosses to bear. When it seems too heavy I take it to the Lord because I trust Him rather than man.

    Pastors and counselors are just as human as me…I can never think about entrusting the care of my soul to fellow humans. I love the Church and the Pastors and am grateful for their spiritual influence and investment in my life but when my soul is heavy and downcast I hope in the Lord who alone is the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…the healing is miraculously instantaneous. Hoping on anyone other than Him is like building on sinking sand. His Word shifts my focus from me and my problem to God and Him being glorified in my infirmity and all heartache is gone. Therefore, I will always choose His Wisdom and Word over human wisdom and words… prevents me from blaming God or His church or the Pastor. But then that’s me and we are all not the same!

    Seems like this will be another thing (environment being the other) about which I’m afraid we do not see eye to eye. However, we are definitely on the same page as long as it is the Bible- its language, its culture, its message, its wisdom, its Author and His Love! And yes, we are the Church and if we see anything lacking in God’s family and feel burdened about it, instead of accusing or throwing a pity party, we have the liberty and equipping of the Holy Spirit to lovingly and selflessly serve each other with our individual time and talents. What or where then is the problem?????

  16. Jean L. says:

    Sometimes the sheer busy-ness of our daily/weekly schedules blind us to those Christ places before us. We then become desensitized to His purpose for our lives, and in the process, ignore the needy who sit at our doorstep. The amazing thing is when we do respond compassionately and sincerely to those who cross our paths, God uses all the imperfections in our personality/character to bring glory to His name, and something beautiful comes out of it all–for us who extend that hand , and for the person who needed to feel loved.

  17. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, I did not find your comments offensive. This is the kind of conversation that I hoped would happen here. We need to be able to disagree in grace– which is what you have done.

    You are right in emphasizing that our trust must ultimately be in God rather than in people. The question is whether God makes provisions for us through gifted people– which we in turn must evaluate with the discernment he has given us. From what you’ve said, we are on the same page there.

    Also, when I talk about “pastors” as a counterpart to a “specialist” I’m referring to spiritual, biblical, and Christ-centered counsel whether it comes from a pastor or just another brother or sister in the Lord.

    A “specialist,” in turn, can be a wise person who shares our faith in the Lord (although if I’m having surgery– I’d rather be operated on by a skilled surgeon who is not a believer than by a believer who is a novice or inept.)

    One more point for clarification. When I talk about a “specialist” (whether in Christ or not), I’m also thinking of the need for group work, accountability, and follow-through in working with addictions to i.e. alcohol, drugs, pornography, or physical and sexual offenders. Many profound problems that involve both spiritual solutions and physical enslavements are so enmeshed in learned patterns of deceit and self-deception that it often takes those who are themselves experienced with the problem to confront and hold accountable a fellow-struggler. Such group accountability is often a helpful counterpart to spiritual encouragement and accountability.

    Please, understand, daisymarygoldr, that I am not intending this to be a personal monologue or filibuster aimed at you. :-). You have just given me a chance to try to add further clarification. Hope I haven’t further clouded the water.

  18. BronzeforGold says:

    For nine months my 32 year old stepson,who is bi-polar, lived with us. He had, we thought, finally hit bottom when his pregnant girlfriend left him and filed a restraining order preventing him from seeing his newborn son. He was led to pray for salvation by a chaplain at the jail where he served three months after turning himself in for driving convictions. Later, that same chaplain invited him to a men’s small group and bible study. My stepson did go to a few but it took just one challenge by the chaplain, that perhaps his lifestyle was inhibiting his relationship with God, to send him into a tirade about hypocrites in church and he reverted back to his old ways of drinking and lying. It wasn’t the chaplain’s fault. He didn’t know the history. I feel like it would take a combination of spiritual counseling along with the clinical to be of help. So often the mental illness includes behaviors that prohibit healing because the victim holds back truths that are necessary to the treatment.

    He is in a state sponsored treatment center for his mental illness and alcoholism at the moment. He will not be living with us when he gets out. There is much healing to take place in our marriage because of the strain, and I must tell you, our church – which we love very much – really didn’t do anything to reach out to us, though they knew the struggles we were going through. We even have a Christian psychologist on staff. The failure is not in lack of love, but in lack of knowing what to do. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to share what I now know.

  19. a MUSE d says:

    To think in terms of ‘how many’ troubled people there are in the world, can lead the heart and mind toward despair. Yet of a contrary perspective it is comforting to know so many are as broken and With Thorns in their side as me. It makes it that much easier for me to grab them and embrace them for in my humanness I can see their equality of humanness. This ‘likeness’ soaks my heart and grows my compassion and empathy. This ‘likeness’ permits me the courage to take ACTION and do as 1 Thessalonans 5:14 TELLS ME TO ACT TOWARD OTHERS .This is a good STARTING point.

  20. daisymarygoldr says:

    No filibuster feeling(whatever on earth that means!) Mart. Glad it is not going to be anything like this in heaven where all of us will be in perfect agreement with each other and there will be no more disorders:)

    Totally clueless about what you explained and do not know what else to say other than reiterate what I have always believed- that I’m determined not to know anything other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified- the only solution to every human problem.

    By experience I know that it is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in man…surely the arm of the Lord is not too short that He cannot save nor His ears too dull that He cannot hear nor His power too weak that He cannot restore. Isa 9:2 will always be my hope for my family members and I know for sure that Jesus never fails! Not so sure about your specialist though…

  21. sammik says:

    This hits real close to home for me. My father either would not or could not stop drinking even though it cost him job(s), marriage, family, self respect and eventually his life. As a child I remember our pastor tried to help. The pastor, with my mother and me, took him to the state hospital for treatment. I don’t remember how long he was there but I do remember visiting him several times. I recently asked my mother why he drank so much and was unable to quit. She told me that during WWII he worked in a military hospital and he told her that his mistake resulted in someone dying. Sometimes the burden is too heavy and we are unable to forgive ourselves. I was too young to know what kind of counsel he received from the pastor or the medical profession but I can only hope that he did BELIEVE and had put his FAITH in JESUS CHRIST.

  22. dx7 says:

    Hi Mart, I am so happy that another person recognises that there are problems between the general church and individuals struggling with problems. Only five other people I know recognise this.

    I’ve had severe depression for fourteen years and am a non-active homosexual. No one in church ever noticed anything or cared except for two Christians around my age. They helped me to accept myself. I got baptized at that church.

    But it did not mean everything became rosy and everyone at the church was lovely. I was still struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, eating problems and of course homosexuality. There was a period of time I had awful (and maybe spiritual) nightmares. An Elder I spoke with at the church told me to pray and read the Psalms.

    That made me mad. I felt like screaming: “What do you mean read the damn Psalms?! How’s that going to help?!”

    I had to leave the church eventually because I was only in that country to study. I have not been able to find another church to settle down and get into. One of the cell groups I attended at a church was for working adults. They met outside the church frequently for dinner and to go to the movies or other activities like bowling. I was unemployed at that time and could not afford it and left the cell group.

    At another church, some of the cell group members are always laughing and teasing each other and cracking silly jokes. That might be fine with an ordinary person but I go through so much stress and pain everyday I just want to discuss the Bible and am in no mood for jokes. I left that group too.

    I have been going at it alone for more than three years and feel much better this way. I read the bible on my own sometimes and books by Andrew Murray, Henri Nouwen, John Ortberg, Philip Yancey etc. These books have comforted me more than anyone else has.

  23. greatermen says:

    I am sure that though individuals may share some of the same types of backgrounds, similar behavioral problems, bad habits, mental disorders and or traumatic experiences. Each person must be treated as an individual and according to their individual needs. certainly some people will do well to receive a combination of spiritual and psychological assistance. while some may only need one or the other.

    Having been recently (6/2007) diagnosed as suffering from major depression and being bi-polar as well as having AADD (adult attention deficit disorder). I was told that I needed to take meds that would help me to cope with my depression and control my mood swings and help me concentrate and stay focused. I went to counseling (one on one and in a group situation) and I got a lot of great insight into human behavior and learned some needed coping skills; however what I learned was not going to be enough what I found out, NOT BY CHANCE is not only was I depressed but I was being oppressed.

    A few months before I was incorrectly diagnosed by a doctor with mental conditions that required drugs to cope with life. God led me to my current Pastors who told me the truth according to God’s word (not their words) and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I was excited about my new relationship with God and started listening to the word being shared on the radio everyday, all day. I started talking to others about my relationship with Christ before getting rooted in His word. unknowingly and without a sound strategy and not knowing if I was being led by the Holy Spirit I was trying to bring non-believers to Christ

    I came under a great spiritual attack and didn’t know what to do. I wanted to be a good christian but I didn’t know what that was. I was still in the world sinning and trying to do things my way to bring glory to our father in heaven. without praying for guidance, or understanding from His Holy Spirit. I did not even confessed my sins. So I had become crushed by my own works of iniquity.

    I was out of work for 11 months and for the first three months I was planning my SUICIDE. My heart had become so harden that I could no longer think straight. I was in denial about everything and blaming everyone and everything for my misery. For three months I had a pity party and didn’t care about anything. I just wanted out of my miserable life. I thought I was beyond help and was numb, tired and fed up with life and myself. I somehow painted a proverbial dark image of my life that was my lowest point, I was full of hate and disgust.

    Then something happened around the 4th month somehow I ended up back in church and this time something miraculous occurred… My understanding which I believe comes from my faith in GOD’s word as truth and His Holy Spirit whom I have received as my Helper, Friend and Comforter has given me a greater understanding.

    Everyday I war in the spirit in prayer and supplication. everyday I grow stronger in my devotion and though it is a daily struggle I thank God that He sent Jesus Christ to be my redeemer and my example how to serve Him. I Love God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind He has made me wonderfully unique and I know Our Father in Heaven Loves me. God has shown me how to be merciful to others and myself. God has healed my mind and has given me away to fight off future mental and spiritual attacks in His word. It is by faith I receive all of His provisions. I am now back at work and everything I do I do for the glory of our Father in Heaven. I only want to do His will according to His way. If I suffer (and I often do) It is no longer for me that I suffer but for Christ because He suffered much more for me and I believe Christ Jesus is worthy. I just want to show myself approved and I will do whatever God desires of me. For me knowing GOD’s agape towards me has saved me from perishing!…

  24. lmdobbs3 says:

    Albeit, alot of people find the Lord’s Salvation when their in a dark valley. I came to a point of brokenness in Christ when I had no where tu turn, but only to Him. From there I sought out my Salvation with fear and trembling. Now don’t get me wrong I had and have alot of issues to work on, but the Lord brings to light because His word says that He gave us a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. Now don’t get me wrong sometimes I have to repeat that verse over, and over in my mind. I grew up with an alcholic Father, who abused me. My mother was co-dependent. I didn’t know that I would eventually marry, and become involved in a very similar pattern as my parents. My point being yes we all have issues, some worse than others, but with the holyspirit dwelling within us we can manage. We have hope, we’re overcomrs in Christ.We can help others that are walking a road similar to oyr own, but maybe haven’t gotten as far. I believe our experiences are to help others in this so called thing “life”. The first step though is Salvation, then one step in front of the other. My point there may not be a way out, but there is a way through with, and only with our Lord Jesus Christ. I am His and He is mine.

  25. brtom says:

    As I have read this post and the responses, my heart aches and the Spirit within me groans in sorrow. I have suffered with depression and spent time in and out of mental institutions for a while and there were many talented professionals (Doctors, nurses, councilors) who tried to help me and wanted the best for me but it did not come together until God brought a man and a women into my life who had a heart to help people. They run the Circle of Love Ministries. All they did was take me in, love me in the name of Jesus, help me get grounded again in the Word of God, and help me establish the discipline to live again and do regular day to day things like keep a job, establish a budget, etc. God sent these godly people across my path as an example to me of Jesus wanted me to be like (Jesus did not just cleanse the leper, He touched the leper) and they showed me the example I feel all Christians should attempt to follow in Matthew 25. Service to God is not done though a third party but we need to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And yes the doctors have a part too; they can be used by God but not as excuses to stop us from doing our part to help others

    OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  26. daisymarygoldr says:

    Thanks for expressing your curiosity about my position. Really sorry you had to go through all of that pain and suffering. Although, I may not be able to relate to your hurt, I will surely pray for God’s continuous healing in your life.

    Being a professional myself, I’d never underestimate their expertise. In fact I do see and appreciate it as a gift of God. Do go to a doctor and have them in my family, do take medicines, went to school… still go to school… and talk about evolution, health, diseases, hormonal and chemical imbalances and all disorders, diagnosis, prevention and treatment- its advantages and disadvantages.

    “Jesus Christ and Him crucified- the only solution to every human problem” applies to me and my family. Can’t really explain my “adamancy and seemingly all inclusiveness” and this blind Faith in Jesus even during this practical 21st century. It is He who has instilled this strong faith in me to the point that though He kills me I will trust Him…is there any line beyond that?

    Never got raped or diagnosed with bipolar disorder but if anything like that ever happens, I will seek refuge in Christ…again that pertains to me. Never sought professional help (pastoral or otherwise), advice or counseling but do share my woes and worries with family and friends and always ask for prayer. Cry my eyes out when I’m sad and do take advantage of unloading everything upon Christ every day.

    We take medicines when we get sick and give thanks to God for healing us. We seek help from people in times of need as God has not created us to be islands but we do not depend on them. We ourselves do not understand the complex nature of our souls how then can another human know what is wrong within us?

    Are you not aware of how easy it is to be preyed upon by another human (Christian or otherwise) when our walls are down? Have you not heard about our exposed vulnerability being taken advantage of causing us to be caught in a never-ending vicious cycle? Would you still think it is better to trust man than God? Check out the deal He offers in Rev 3:18 and I guarantee you’ll never ever be disappointed in your life!

    Got to go…my stomach is rumbling. Have a wonderful evening! – Daisy

  27. Mart De Haan says:

    It might have helped for me to acknowledge in my post Paul’s words, “God has not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind” (2Tim 1:5). The other side of what I wrote about is that in so many ways Jesus is a source of mental and emotional health.

    The problem, however, is that because of the “now but not yet” principle of i.e. salvation and the kingdom of God, followers of Christ have not yet experienced the fullness and completeness of all that Christ is calling us to.

    The Apostle John could write to his friend, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3John 1:2). But the fact is that God does not directly and supernaturally heal us from all of our diseases. (That’s one reason that medical docs and meds have become accepted and helpful elements in most of our lives– while acknowledging that, yes, docs are not gods, and meds can not only be used for our good– but also misused.) That’s one reason I’ve tried to emphasize elsewhere the proverbial wisdom of “safety in a multitude of counselors (Prov 11:14).

    Am going to work on another post to try to explain why I’m convinced that believing in the God of the Bible leads us to honor God as the source of all good and true things even if they come from secular hands or mouths.

    The challenge for us is to see that such “good gifts” come ultimately from the hand of the Lord– and that our real hope and trust are still grounded– not in man– but in the One who is the source of every good gift.

  28. daisymarygoldr says:

    Abigail, The “counsel” stuff is an entirely new and strange concept for me… so there was no way of getting hurt by that. Was much perturbed by all of this and discussed this topic with some friends who were able to figure out why I’m unable to see it the way you all do. Their inference was, though we share the same faith, my upbringing is c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y different than all of yours. The social values are contrasting, the outlook on life is opposite and as you said the perspectives are not the same…which makes its much easier for me to relate to the Bible… not aware of any experience that is not explained in His Word and do not see any grey areas or it being laid out as general principles.

    Simply put…I am a 1st century AD woman and would perfectly fit into that ancient Christian culture. I know…sounds crazy to be so primitively outdated….guess that also makes me the oldest one around here:) The cool thing is that God has chosen such puzzling pieces of human blocks as you and I, to be fitted together and be built into His glorious body- The Church! Heaven will certainly be full of lovely surprises and quite something to look forward to! Ok now I must stop yapping before Mart kicks me out:( have a great wknd, Daisy.

  29. Mart De Haan says:

    Maybe Paul’s words in the 14th chapter of Romans are appropriate to the different ways we are seeing this. There he acknowledges that in first century culture there were disagreements in “the family of God” about how to show our faith in the Lord, and what to accept as “gifts” from his hand.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    Very, truly said, Mart! Maybe it is for this very reason that God has brought and odd individual like me to the esteemed pages of your blog. I’m fully aware of being such a pain to you and the others…Sorry!

  31. Tyr says:

    I want to post a real life example of a Pastor:

    [A well known pastor] explains the counsel he gave one battered woman.

    “I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.” And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.” And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”’

    “And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back, first time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God can forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today. And it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis. And remember, when nobody else can help, God can.”

    “And in the meantime,” [he goes on to say], “you have to do what you can at home to be submissive in every way that you can and to elevate him. Obviously, if he’s doing that kind of thing he’s got some very deep spiritual problems in his life and you have to pray that God brings into the intersection of his life those people and those events that need to come into his life to arrest him and bring him to his knees.”

    There are so many things wrong with this so called “counsel”. Whose welfare is he really concerned about? Not to mention that it may have happened in that case but the other 99 cases it did not and the woman suffered longer and more abuse. Not to mention the other numerous glaring errors with what he said.

    Professional licensed counselors are often more christ like in how they are with clients. They are concerned about the clients well being regardless of who they are, what religion they may follow, what gender they may be, etc. They are willing to help anyone and put the clients well being first. Do No Harm.

    And there is little to no accountability for many of the pastoral people and the results of their “counsel”. I wonder what “counsel” [this pastor] would have offered if the lady turned up dead the next day? I guess it would have been God’s will? …

  32. paulam1022 says:

    In response to a comment posted by poohpity on July 22nd, 2008 at 2:23 pm, I COULDN’T AGREE W/ YOU MORE!!! God made us and everything else perfect – without flaw. Look at the shape this world is in. Addiction, mental illness, violence, satanism etc. Those are not of God. That is the evil of this world at work. Everything that’s wrong w/ us happened because we turned our backs on him. Myself included and I am just starting to find my way back to Him. There is no doctor or pill in the world than can do what God can. He is the ONLY answer to all of our plights no matter if it’s schizophrenia,a misguided sexual attraction to children or whatever other disgusting path we chose to walk. God is the answer to EVERYTHING!!! Believe that please!

  33. Hephzibah610 says:

    Wow…when you are the one struggling, you often think you are alone…but I can see that I am in “good company” here. Have tried the medicines, some counseling and lots of prayer. Still struggling with need for inner healing. But agree that God is the ultimate source…He is the ONLY one who can heal…but how He does it is as individual as each of us.

    God be with you all…God bless us…every one!

  34. JRD says:

    The differences you make,
    the ones of lasting importance,
    are the little differences you make
    in the life of another person.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.