My appetite for equipping to counsel others biblically is growing. You could probably look at my list of books I have read in the last few years and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least half of them are resources for counseling or could be used for such an occasion.
And, I also love lists and charts. So, whenever these 2 loves meet, I am ecstatic. If I come across a chart or list in a counseling book, I will immediately try to think of a way to share it with someone or use it in an upcoming sermon.
The last few days I have discovered a few lists that are too good not to share right now. I have been reading The Biblical Counseling Guide for Women by John D. Street and Janie Street, which seems like a companion text to John Street’s Men Counseling Men. The subjects covered in this book are as follows: anger, anxiety, appearance, bitterness, borderline personality disorder, chemical abuse, depression, anorexia, grief, guilt, adultery, OCD, panic attacks, PTSD, schizophrenia, transgenderism, and abuse.
Here is one such list that may be of use to some of you:
Seven Symptoms of Chemical Enslavement (e.g., painkillers, illegal drugs, etc.) – pg. 107
- A “willingness to sacrifice hard work, possessions, and all or most of one’s wealth in order to secure additional dosages of the chemical” (Proverbs 23:20-21)
- “Recurring headaches, feelings of anxiety, insomnia, nausea, or general awful feelings when there has been an extended absence of the chemical, which causes the heart to be strongly attracted to and lust for more” (Proverbs 23:29-31)
- A “disregard for adverse personal consequences of the chemical, such as dullness, distortion or denial of reality, loss of judgment, and the entertainment of perverse thoughts” (Proverbs 23:32-33; 31:4-5)
- “Determined desire for repeated experiences with the chemical regardless of the physical and emotional instability that it engenders” (Proverbs 23:34)
- “An insensitivity to the mistreatment of others, frequent arguments and fights with family members or friends” (Proverbs 23:35)
- “Occasional and temporary blackouts, forgetfulness, or memory loss that contributes to insecurity and uncertainty” (Proverbs 23:35)
- An “ongoing demanding desire to see the chemical of choice in order to relax or sleep, to be happy or content, to resolve personal problems, or to just simply feel ‘normal’” (Proverbs 23:35).
“A Christian counselor addresses a person’s thoughts, beliefs, desires, feelings, decisions, and actions in light of God’s revealed will for how people ought to function. As people relate rightly to Christ through faith in his gospel, their hearts are progressively transformed to relate rightly to everything else – to others, to self, and to circumstances. Being right with God restores right relations to everything else. … While acknowledging human trouble as complex in its dynamic expression, it unapologetically uses old biblical categories like pride, lust, anger, fear, hatred, revenge, foolishness, ignorance, confusion, and suffering.” (Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju, The Pastor and Counseling)
This video represents (1) why I am pursuing a counseling certification through ACBC, (2) why this man’s leadership at ACBC is encouraging, and (3) how the Gospel speaks to even the darkest experiences in life.
Hypnosis is when someone’s mind is induced to a state of consciousness where a person supposedly loses any power of voluntary actions and is, thus, responsive to suggestions or directions given by others. It comes from the Greek term hypnos, which means “sleep”; it literally is translated “to put to sleep” in ancient Greek literature. The use of hypnosis was not popularized until the late 18th century.
For the Christian, the use of hypnosis – no matter what the reason may be – is not a wise choice.
#1 – We are never to give over our mind or bodies to the control of someone or something else. When it comes to our mind and body, there are two options for who controls us – God or sin (Romans 6:16-23). The individual who choose to be hypnotized is willingly giving their mind over for control to someone else – not God.
#2 – Usually one who is hypnotized is looking for a solution to a dilemma, and it is the aim of the hypnotist to help them discover that solution within themselves. The problem? Solutions to our problems are not found from within but from without. Our turning for help should always be the Lord Jesus Christ who already endured hardships like us (Hebrews 12:2). Paul said in Romans 7:18 that nothing good dwells naturally within him. Only the Lord can give us the needed direction and guidance and we do not find Him by emptying our minds and giving another person control over it.
#3 – Hypnosis a means by which we let our guards down, and the Bible teaches us to guard ourselves (Proverbs 4:23). When we choose hypnosis, we are vulnerable and susceptible to evil attacks.
#4 – Hypnosis is an enemy of self-control. Self-control implies that we have mastered our own bodies and not that we have given control to another (Galatians 5:22-23).
While there is no direct “do not participate in hypnosis” in Scripture, it is unwise to choose this method for any reason. It is recommended that one struggling with hypnosis seek a biblical counselor for assistance in addressing whatever concerns them.
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If I weren’t planning on attending Shepherds Conference next year, I would choose this one.
Maybe this counseling method is more effective than we give it credit for.