Getting Called Out as a Hypocrite

faith in jesus touching his robe
My younger son simply can’t stand his new counselor. The last time we went, he asked if I would sit in on the session with him. He wanted me to understand why he was dreading his counseling sessions.

As I sat in the office listening, and listening, and listening to the counselor drone on and on in a guru sort of manner, I understood what my son meant. There was no dialogue, and the guy was using jargon far above an eighth-grader’s understanding.

So he won’t be going to that counselor anymore. But I’m thankful to have met the man, because out of his mouth came the words that God has been trying to get me to understand for the past two years.

I had just finished explaining why I didn’t want my son being taught yogic philosophy*, and was stammering a sort of apology for seeming so “fundamentalist” when he said, “You know, I see so many Christians who don’t practice their faith.”

I felt smug for a moment, thinking of course I wasn’t THAT kind of Christian.

“These people don’t trust in God like they tell other people to do. They don’t hand it all over to Him,” he continued.

The comfortable feeling I had quickly went away and was replaced with unease. The next day, after letting his words simmer for a while, I realized that he had been talking about me, whether he knew it or not.

Psalm 40:4 points out my error.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

This verse hit home in three ways.

First of all, I have not been trusting God. During the past three years, I have read at least 1,000 studies, articles and abstracts about the S disease trying to find answers. I enrolled in a counseling program trying to find answers. I’ve emailed countless experts trying to find answers.

No answers from these sources have been forthcoming.

Second, I have been looking to the proud. Smug people who are 100 percent certain that their education has provided them with all of the knowledge they need to deal with an illness, if not cure it. If there was a picture next to the word “smug” in the dictionary, it would be of the counselor we saw last week.

Finally, I have been giving import to the sayings of a false god. The field of psychiatry has become a false god in our culture. We look to it for answers, but diagnoses are more forthcoming than cures.

Don’t think that I’m the only one who thinks that psychiatry is a god. A few months ago, I received a copy of Counseling Today, the publication of the American Counseling Association. I had become a member of this organization when I was in the counseling program.

One of the articles said that “counselors are the new priests.” In other words, people turn to counseling for their problems instead of God. The writer seemed perfectly okay with this idea, and gave advice on how to counsel people from religious backgrounds that counselors might feel uncomfortable with, like Christianity.

God's eyeGod is big. The S disease is not. [/caption]All of those articles I read were the equivalent of praying to our society’s version of Baal for help. Why should I be surprised that help never came?

Here is the thing I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around, and I’m not sure why.

God is the creator of the universe. He made us. He can handle the S disease.

I don’t get to choose the outcome of the S disease — God does. But I can trust that He knows what he’s doing. I can pray. I can live my life in a manner that Jesus tells us will get results when we ask for things in His name. (More on that later.)

I know that the whole thing is confusing and controversial. But I’m trusting God to give me the eyes to see clearly.

Amazing colorful artwork is over here.

*I have very, very good reasons for being mistrustful of Indian religious teachings and practices, including yoga. If you are wondering why, feel free to contact me and ask.

4 Thoughts.

  1. I thought a therapist is supposed to listen… or maybe a therapist is different from a counselor? I don’t know.

    I have a question though. If God is going to provide the answer, how do we know what form he will be providing the answer in? Is it not possible that he will be sending a counselor or a research paper as an answer? Some people do refer to some people and some events as God-sends. Even if that counselor if not the answer, could there be another counselor that might be the answer?

    • Well, this particular counselor is supposed to be teaching him cognitive strategies for coping with anxiety/distorted thinking. How this is typically done is by listening to the patient describe an instance when they could not control anxiety, and then helping that person to identify the thinking patterns that led to the physiological symptoms and additional anxious thoughts. There was no listening/teaching happening, only a bunch of talk. :-/

      You are right about how God can provide the answer in any form. The difference here is that I believe this “disease” is very much a spiritual, as opposed to physical, malady. I have lots of “proof,” however, it is so bizarre and scary I am hesitant to write about it here. It is a messed up situation, to say the least.

      I keep running around to counselors, etc., because I want very much to believe that it is simply a disease, as the alternative is rather frightening. However, the meds are blocking a lot of it, so it is not altogether useless.

  2. As a person looking into biblical counseling, I am thankful that you give an insight from the insider journal on this.

    I love the thought of counseling, but I can really see where you’re coming from that the counselors are taking over for priests and ministers.

    I do want to church plant and be “clergy” as well, but how do you think is best that I use my platform of potentially counseling Christians outside of my congregation and not take over for their pastor, while making sure I can counsel enough people to pay the bills and student loans?

    • Counseling…that is a hard one for me. You know where I personally am at on that one. Still, if people are going to go to counselors, an effective Christian counselor would be best. But here’s where it gets problematic in my mind — how can we charge people to give them biblical advice? Freely we were given…

      I think loans and lifestyle can be a trap. You have an incredible gift. Why not live very small with the poor and give as freely as you can of your abilities? I know that sounds extreme, but following Jesus is definitely radical. I believe it calls for looking outside our box of job, mortgage, respectability. I think you already do.

      That approach and well, lifestyle, would really move people’s hearts and open their minds. We have lots and lots of paid counselors and pastors and our country is in worse trouble than many others that have a more organic approach to ministry. The very fact that a seminary can be called “prestigious” gives me pause. Still trying to talk you out of years of paying back loans, I suppose. Without that, you don’t have to worry. Lots of people live on very little, and then you would be free to do whatever God calls you to do without worrying about the financial ramifications.

      In terms of not taking over for their pastors, well, some pastors are simply not very helpful to their congregation. If the people are seeing someone else to help with their problems, then the pastor is not doing his job or the problems are too big for only one person to manage.

      I feel sure God will direct your steps on this. :-)

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