Psychology or not?
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
I’m going to go out on a limb here. Are you ready?
That’s it. I like psychology. I mean I really like psychology.
So, what do I mean when I say: psychology? Am I talking about the Psyche 101 class in college? Am I talking about Freud, Skinner, or what? And what does a Christian have to do with all of that stuff? We have the Bible, and that’s enough, right?
The concept of psychology is embodied by this thought: the study of the human mind/ inmost being. Both worldly people and Christians are capable of observing the workings of the human psyche. Under the premise that human thought controls human behavior, many people have come up with interesting observations of what makes our mind work. The study of the human mind is very interesting but very complex.
What most people have trouble with is the interpretations of the data or the bizarre circumstances under which the data was collected. Take Freud, for example. Everyone knows that he think everything boils down to sex drives. Absurd. But did you know that he did his research on prisoners convicted of sex-related crimes? So, yes he had data, but it was really skewed, to say the least! But was there any truth in what he was doing? Well, probably. But very few people want to go digging around to figure that out. But there have been godly Christians who have studied these things and been able to “spoil the Egyptians” in a sense and learn what we can from it. In the case of Freud, we learn that our past experiences can really affect the present. The horror, trauma and sin that we are experiencing at one stage of life can sometimes be hiding and come out in weird ways in another.
At other times, the reason why (worldly) psychologists fail is not because the method or even data is incorrect, but the absence of the presence of a loving God does not offer the person suffering any hope. (Obviously I talking about this in the general sense, since there are plenty of theories that are flawed in method and/or data) It’s not enough to know what’s wrong with the brain or even how it works, but if we can not point the hurting person to the ultimate healer, we still aren’t helping them.
If you are still wondering if much learning hath made me mad, consider this post: Learning how your brain works in organizing. Go ahead and read it, and come back..
I’ll wait for you…
What was I doing when I wrote that? I was using psychology. It was probably cognitive psychology, but it was psychology, nonetheless. And what else? It was helpful (or so one of my readers told me), and it was written by a Christian who reads the Bible and loves the Lord Jesus.
So this week in our counseling class, we studied the Bible hard. The book of Hebrews, the tabernacle, Romans, Genesis, etc. But we also had to read about all of the major writers of psychology. Rather than reject them altogether, we were challenged to think, evaluate, ponder, pray. Sometimes we don’t have the energy to evaluate things, and it’s easier to dismiss them. I know, I’ve done it. The Bible is our grid from which we evaluate all information that comes our way. It’s our job to wrestle with each thing and think. Thinking takes work. It’s hard.
Well, I’m done being lazy. I’m done generalizing. I want to know what’s up, and how to really help people. And I’m not saying that I fully understand this. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I know enough to be very humbled. I just want to really know Christ.. more! Studying psychology has not made me reject God. It has made me all the more amazed at him for creating such a beautiful thing as the human mind. For the little that man has been able to observe about it, I am thankful. The fact that my little brain is capable of thinking about thinking.. is a wonder in itself. It’s like that mirror of a mirror of a mirror of a mirror….. AAAhhh!! my brain hurts!!!
Maybe I should stop now before I explode.
And if you disagree with me, don’t cut my RSS fee off immediately, we’ll be back to funny stories and sorting socks soon enough.
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