So much has been said and revealed to each of the Soul detox delegates during the 30 days that we sign on as members. I was reminded once again about my own personal struggles that I was engaged in, when my daughter and husband died now 5 and 6 years ago.
My soul was a total mess. The 30 day Soul Detox class was like going to a doctor and getting a booster shot to further protect you from further infections that might have gotten in crept in unaware. The Lord revealed to me some additional soul monitoring issues that I needed to take care of subsequent to the deaths of my loved ones. Detoxing your soul is an ongoing process folks. And I intend to go all the way live with my commitment to doing due diligence to keep my soul pure. Enjoy this message from my book.
“Chapter 11_Take the Medicine, Get on the Couch, and Get A head Check
It is difficult for most of us in the body of Christ to think that we should seek professional help with our issues. We have gotten so saved that we don't refer to them as "sins" anymore. The mere mention of counseling for most men evokes pure denial, pride, what they feel is an attack or discrediting of their manhood. Most men feel that they have an innate ability to solve not only their own problems, but their wives, significant other, and their children's as well.
The responsibility of pastors to attend to their congregants’ spiritual and emotional needs is at a critical juncture today. There seems to be as much if not more depression, suicide, physical and emotional abuse in the church as it is in the secular world. Many now view the role of pastors to also include mental health counseling. Additionally, congregants seem to expect it (Stone, 2001). The term “counselor” appears in several Bible verses, such as: “Also Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a wise man, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons” (1 Chronicles 26:14). (Proverbs 11:14) says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselor s there is safety."
The original New Testament Greek word parakletos, which literally means “called to one's side,” was used to describe someone who helped others by defending or comforting them. In English-language versions of the Bible, parakletos is usually translated as advocate, comforter, helper, or counselor (Strong, 2004). It is a term we in church use to describe the third person of the Godhead, namely, the Holy Spirit. But it is also sufficient to say that God has given spiritual gifts to his church. Within the body of Christ there are pastors, elders, and professional people who are trained psychologist, social workers, and other types of mental health care givers who can counsel and come alongside a congregate, to assist him or her in their journey back to wholeness.
In 1757, Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote that mankind hangs in perpetual suspense between life and death, health and sickness, plenty and want – conditions which are distributed among humans by secret and unknown causes. These unknown causes become the constant object of one’s hope and the affliction of one’s fear; the advantage of this affliction is that it brings people to a due sense of religion (Hume, 1889)
One of my former pastors use to say," If you have never experienced any problems, just keep on living." I believe all of us come to a due sense of religion. Sometimes you hear it said that convicts have received, "Jailhouse conversion" or jailhouse religion!" Certainly the experience of being placed behind prison walls, having all your rights taken from you, dealing with the degradation of prison life, being isolated from family and friends, apparently causes many to reach out to God and religion.
Often, we are prisoners in our own homes and bodies. We experience life and chance on a daily basis. No one knows the hour of the day when tragedy, calamity, death, sickness or disease will make a house call to your address or mine. It is important that Christians begin to search their heart and ask the question, Is Christian Counseling right for me? Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. . There is a myth in the church that people of great faith do not need to seek the help of Christian counseling.
There are many reasons why people seek a Christian Counselor. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues that may have not been resolved at the altar on Sunday mornings. At other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as the death of a child, parent, spouse, and divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of a Christian counselor for spiritual guidance as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth.
Working with a Christian counselor can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Counseling along with prayer, can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Christian counseling is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working toward a positive change in their lives.
According to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) nearly 3/4 of Americans say their whole approach to life is based on religion. But I contend that religion alone cannot cure the ills and mental anguish of every believer. There are some Best Practices that trained Christian counselors use along with their own spiritual gifts that add more strength and power in the healing and deliverance of an individual. Even Jesus employed some basic practical steps when people came to him for healing. It wasn't all spiritual. He told the lame man to stand up, the man with the withered hand to stretch out your hand, the boy who was born blind to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
I do not recommend going to a secular counselor, been there, done that, and got a tee shirt. Personally I preferred to go to counselors who share my religious (spiritual) beliefs rather than have a therapist challenge my faith or try to convert me to some crazy "New Age Philosophy." 83 percent of Americans believe their spiritual faith is closely tied to their state of mental and emotional health. Three-fourths say it is important for them to see a professional counselor who integrates their values and beliefs into the counseling process.
The counselor that was recommended to me came from a friend that I highly respected. She knew about the issues the losses that I had experienced. And as a dear friend, she recognized that I needed professional; help mixed with the anointing of a spiritual vessel that God was using to restore people back to wholeness and better mental health.
Do I really need counseling? I can usually handle my problems. Those are two questions I asked myself. I felt I was a strong enough person to handle my problems. But I was in denial! The pain that I felt was coming from all different directions. It wasn't just the deaths of Tom and Danielle, there were a lot of messages that my soul, my emotions were receiving based upon what was currently going on in my life. But there were a significant number of things in my past that I had not dealt with. All of those memories, the dis-ease, pain, guilt, rejection, unforgiveness just to name a few things that I did not confront earlier in my life, now rested in the seat of my soul. My heart was extremely heavy and my mind was on overload. I could have exploded at any given moment.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, this season of your life might be the time when you have to make the decision to fix your life! There's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy or counseling is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. Bringing a spiritual aspect to the counseling sessions can provide comfort and peace that you've not experienced before. Using biblical principles provides you with the assurance that the Holy Spirit is part of the healing process. And I thank God that He showed up in every session!
Some of you may be asking yourselves, "How can Christian Counseling help me? A number of benefits are available from participating in a faith-based approach to therapy. Many people find the spiritual aspect to be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, and the difficulties of daily life. Counseling can provide a fresh perspective to an overwhelming problem or point you in the direction of a solution. Often you will discover that your current problems are rooted somewhere in your past. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn.
Counseling can help you learn new ways to deal with stress. It can also help you to better understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Counseling points you in the direction of seeking wholeness which often means forgiving family members, friends, co-workers an d saints that have wronged you. It definitely will address old patterns of behavior and help you to gain new skills to help you achieve success in areas of past failures. The bottom line is. You want to find the answers to the problems that led you to seek therapy.
In my case I clearly heard the Holy Spirit tell me I was angry and needed to address that issue before He would continue to allow me to preach to his people. This happened on a one night when I decided to look at a DVD that was made the last sermon I preached at my home church. I thought I was doing a fairly good job with the text but right in the middle of my watching it, The Lord said, "It’s good, but you're angry. And that is the spirit that is spewing out all over my people." When I heard those words a conviction came over me and a feeling that I needed to repent, which I did.
It had only been a couple of months since Tom's death. And already The Lord was messing with me. Wasn't it enough that I was almost half crazy from dealing with two deaths so close together? But He knew He and a few other people were the objects of this festering anger stirring in my heart.
Unfortunately, I didn't heed the first warning and things intensified at work Things got so bad at work that I could have severely discipline by my employer. I was in a tight situation, but thankfully, by the grace of God everything worked out. After a few close calls, I called the woman of God who would become my counselor and friend. I made the decision to spend the next two years working on becoming whole again.
Sometimes we get so sick that we fear taking the medicine. We feel that we are way beyond help because the illness has persisted for so long. If only we had taken the "medicine" at the beginning, we would be in much better shape! By medicine of course I mean counseling. Most people equate counseling with having to lie down on a couch, but that was not the case.
. But there are times when our physician will recommend medication to help you with our emotional and mental anxieties. My physician wrote me out a prescription to help with depression and sleeplessness. I took sleeping pill moderately because there were nights when I tossed and turned all night. Memories of my loved ones stayed on my mind. I kept nursing and rehearsing scenarios, what if this or what if that! A lot of guilt ran through my mind.
Truthfully, sometimes you have to take the medicine for your own sanity and your families. We should not be ashamed if we need that kind of help or support. However make sure you take it responsibly. Make sure your family knows what you take and how often you take it. Taking prescription medication doesn't mean you don't trust God or have faith. There are some Christians that won't take radiation or chemo therapy when the diagnosis of cancer is the treatment recommended by their oncologist. They choose to stand firmly on their faith in God as a healer and many of the die because they refused to get the medical help for the cure that could possibly put them in remission or save their lives.
The Bible says, "In all your Getting, get an understanding." Improper teaching and training of our congregants is doing more harm than good. All churches should have a health and wellness ministry to provide professional information to the congregations. The more informed we are, the easier it is to make decisions related to our health and the health of our loved ones. We must be aware of the qualifications of our pastors and leaders. Many do not have the credentials and proper training to address severe mental health issues. Getting an accurate evaluation and diagnosis is critical to someone’s life.
Make sure you know the resources that are available in your church. Ask questions. Don't be afraid to take referrals from people you trust. Check into your pastors credentials to determine if his pastoral training is sufficient to meet your needs. Don't feel that you are out of line or hurting your pastor’s feelings if the Lord is sending you somewhere else to get help. Better to be safe than sorry! Don't forget that the Word of God is powerful! Eat as much of it as you can. Fast, pray, praise and worship your way through. Trust that God will never put more on you than you can bear.
Don’t forget to say your prayers when: you find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Pray +faith-doubt are great strategies to confront your issues, your demons, your adversary, but sometimes as I have stated, you have to get some counseling, and maybe take the medicine. On the next page you will find some helpful Scriptures that deal with the topic of counseling. Enjoy.
Proverbs 13:10 - Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised [is] wisdom.
John 16:13 - Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Proverbs 20:5 - Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 12:18 - There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise [is] health.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (Read More...)
Luke 16:31 - And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Proverbs 15:22 - Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
Proverbs 1:1-3 - The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; (Read More...)
I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter of my latest book. it is available on Amazon, or you can email me to request one to be autographed and sent to you through the mail. The book retails for 20.00, but if i hear from you within a week, you can purchase it for $15.00 Through February 9th. God Bless.
And as always is my custom when ending a blog:
DON'T FORGET TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS.