All You Need is More Jesus, Not A Counselor

I see that in people's eyes, "All You Need is More Jesus, Not A Counselor" or in their tone when they respond to mental health issues with words like, "I'm not saying you shouldn't go to a counselor, I'm just gonna pray that God miraculously heals you." or when you see seriously jacked up families full of jacked up individuals, who will tell their kids to just go pray more, read the bible more, spend more time at church, and then all of the stuff they are dealing with will be better.

You ARE saying "All you need is more Jesus, not a counselor".

Let me explain why I believe this thinking is wrong.

Going to a counselor is like when you go to the doctor for an ache, the doctor tells you, "that pain is from your bed being too soft." so you go and get a new bed but if you had not gone to the doctor and he had not given you his professional opinion about what was causing the pain in your back, you would not know what you needed to change in order to rid your body of that pain. Or the guy who is told by a doctor he has cancer and then goes out and starts eating clean, unprocessed, foods in order to get rid of the cancer or he starts chemo therapy. This guy knew something was wrong, but didn't know what until the professional told him and then this guy decided to make changes to his life style so he could live and not die from the cancer.

Going to see a mental health counselor is no different. It's a way of finding out what may be causing the pain in our lives, what may be killing us.

If the guy with cancer or the person with the back ache hand not gone to get a diagnoses, they wouldn't know what to pray for or what changes they needed to make in their lives so they could keep on living. If they had been of the mind set, "All I need is more Jesus, I don't need a doctor to tell me what's wrong with me, I'll just go read the bible more and pray more" then nothing would of changed. God uses people, professionals, doctors, to tell us stuff. To help us.

I once believed the same about mental health issues, heck, I came from Swaggart's where he taught that it was outright not OK for Christians to seek counseling. Obviously, he and probably his entire family desperately needed some counseling. I got away from that environment over 20 years ago, and I now attend a church more then willing to send people to trained professional counselors, not just preachers. Thank God.

Even so, sadly, I know some people who look at a need for mental health counseling as the person being not spiritual enough, or just needing to get closer to God via bible reading and prayer. But don't you see that knowing what to pray for helps? Having a doctor tell you, "maybe this is what causes this.." helps me to know what to pray for, what to change, how to do better, and so on.

Matthew 25 says, "when I was hungry you fed me, naked you clothed me, in prison you visited me.." that was Jesus talking about people being Jesus to those in need of food, clothing, a kind face coming to see them in jail. A counselor is Jesus to those in need of counseling for mental health, so I'm getting more Jesus and getting counseling.

________________

Suggested reading for church leaders wanting to understand more about Mental Health in the church read,

Sidelining the Stigma of Mental Illness 



Comments