I want to begin by setting the definition that “spirituality”, in the current context of mental health or psycho-spirituality, simply means our relationship to God. So, when we say I have a “healthy spiritual life”, it means that you are in good terms with God.
Of course, this is followed by behavioural manifestations such as increased prayers, increased worship, increased time with His Word and so on. The opposite occurs when we feel apart from God. When we are giving God the silent treatment or when we are angry at Him when we think that He has abandoned us, or when we feel that He doesn’t care. This is characteristic of an “unhealthy spiritual life”.
I am bringing this up because having a healthy spiritual life is a necessary ingredient to living a happy and fulfilled life. This, after all, is what we are truly after isn’t it? In my book The Bible’s Secrets to Counselling, I’ve already pointed out the importance of the spiritual realm. We cannot simply discard it from our essence and still expect to be a full person. How then can we be truly happy when we deny parts of our self? Psychological and medical processes alone cannot fulfill our human needs because a huge chunk of our essence comes from the spirit.
Many psychological needs, as earthly and fleshly as they sound, can only be fulfilled by God. For instance, Forgiveness, that is, feeling forgiven so we can forgive others. How can we even talk about forgiveness without mentioning the cross of Jesus Christ? Who are we, who were born into Sin, go out and forgive others?
How can we live a restful life without drawing from God’s peace?
How can we hope without His promises? Have you seen what this world offers?
How can we speak of love apart from what Jesus Christ has done for us?
What GENUINE BASIS can we actually have for anything good apart from Jesus Christ?
How can our body and minds function without the healthy spirit?
Christian Counselling and God’s Word
As a Christian Counsellor, why do you spend time in the Word more than methods and techniques?
Christian Counsellors should be adept in Christian doctrines as well as Christian living more than counselling skills.
Techniques are important; however, the main job of counselling is to convey God’s truth to the client. One can be a master of all the counselling techniques but with no truth to convey, all become useless.
Most client difficulties arise from a corrupted belief system (comes to no surprise that the devil is but a Liar?). The Christian counsellor should be versed with the foundations of Christian beliefs in order to properly help people in the Christian context. Take the belief regarding God’s anger below.
One of the most important belief that the Christian has to settle in their hearts is their relationship with God. A lot of people end up seeking counselling help because deep inside they sincerely think that God is angry at them. This creates a lot of problems because if God is angry at you, then who in the universe can save you?
Take sickness and suffering for example. If they are from God’s anger, then how dare us try to stop them?! How can we be well if God wants us to be sick? How can we live a full happy life if God wants us to suffer? People carrying these unhealthy beliefs will unconsciously glorify this suffering and run away from help. Deep inside them, the question lurks, if this is from God, then why should I stop it? How can I stop it? How can anyone stop it?
Didn’t The LORD already swear in Isaiah 54?
“.. so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you.”
This was a promise made by God in the Old Covenant; how much more will this be honoured after the time when Jesus Christ has shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins?
Do we recall how Jesus Christ reacted when He saw lost and sinful people running about? Jesus Christ never showed anger to them, not even to the ones who were demon possessed; instead, He was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36).
He is a God of love and of forgiveness. This is the prime belief we ought to carry during our concerns for psycho-spiritual health. Come to Him and do not be afraid.
This is what Christian Counselling does. It transforms unhealthy false beliefs into revelations that will explode to a fresh and powerful relationship with Jesus Christ. Now the person can approach God with boldness and live the empowered life to accomplish God’s purpose. This is the transformation that we all aim for, and this is only accomplished from the spirit.