Cross Scott, a shop technician for an auto-care business, was test-driving a customer’s car when he came across a white sedan rolling down the road’s shoulder with their hazard lights blinking. After placing a rock under the front wheel, he tried to get the attention of the unconscious woman in the front seat by banging on the window and yelling, which prompted some passing motorists to call 911.
Cross then broke through the window in order to get to the woman. He began providing CPR and likely saved the woman’s life by doing so. The paramedics arrived around ten minutes after he pulled over to investigate.
A detail in the coverage of this event made it unique to other experiences where CPR is required. It turns out that Cross was not trained in CPR. Could he have figured it out by stumbling his way through the process? When asked what his secret to success was, he referred to an episode of The Office where Steve Carrell’s character sings the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive” to keep the necessary tempo. Cross imitated this character from a tv sit-com and it paid off by potentially saving a life.
This is one example of the motto, “All truth is God’s truth”. As our Creator produced our bodies, He included the possibility of CPR to bypass unnecessary loss of life. Likewise, every practice of medical doctors takes advantage of the ways in which our bodies were created to treat everything from broken bones to acid reflux to eczema, none of which are included in the pages of Scripture. Instead, God gifted Cross with knowledge of CPR from a very unlikely source.
Similarly, there are practices which align with the Scriptures that can assist a person’s mental health progress. At times, it is the simple memorization of the Scriptures. At other times, a more complex process including counseling and therapy become available to assist an individual’s walk with God when they are ill-equipped to do so on their own.
There are concerns among some about the acceptance of counseling practices within the Church and that is understandable, and even commendable, as we seek to be as discerning as possible. When dealing with the mind, it is easy to lead down unhealthy and unbiblical paths. And yet, there are options that align with God’s will that help a client to overcome serious issues with depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, crippling cases of abuse, and many more.
These proper techniques do not:
- Disregard the reality of sin or excuse sin as mental disorders
- Lean into humanist worldviews or tendencies
- Replace Jesus Christ as every person’s “savior” in any way
- Take precedent over or disagree with the Scriptures
- Distract from complete trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit
Passages such as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Psalm 119:105 illustrate to the believer that God’s Word is sufficient for every good work and this applies to discerning legitimate practices of mental health as well as all other details of 21st century life that are consistent with Scripture and yet aren’t specifically discussed in its pages (i.e. how to vote, setting up a budget, many practical aspects of marriage and parenting, how to glorify God on social media, etc.).
Ultimately, when used to bring glory and honor to God by training believers on how to overcome their idols and struggles, counseling and therapy help us to find hope through God’s purpose for our lives. Every individual, family, and community has God-given potential and the correct mental health practices can assist each one of us along the path to finding His will for our circumstances.
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff