Psychiatry and Psychology Are Good Gifts From God by David Lee Chu Sarchet
I understand that calling Psychiatry and Psychology “good gifts from God” is pretty controversial in many Christian circles today. I completely understand that many believers have a faulty assumption that all forms of these sciences are anti-Christian. Therefore we should not regard with any kind of respect.
“Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” -James 1:12
However, I do firmly believe that the Lord, in His sovereignty, has blessed psychiatrists and psychologists with common grace and blessings of knowledge. In order for them to be a benefit for human beings who struggle with mental illness in their daily lives.
What is “common grace”?
Well, a standard definition of common grace is that it “encompasses the biblical teaching about the universal and undeserved goodness of God toward sinners. By common grace, God restrains sin, evil, misery, and wrath in this fallen world, while conferring general, nonredemptive blessings on all mankind” (Ligonier Ministries Sept 21,2021).
If it weren’t for my psychiatrist and psychologist, I would be either dead or in prison today. So I am thankful the Lord has placed them in my life. They may not be Christians, but we do not need to see only Christians for services that help us.
It is actually an unbiblical view to say that Christians should only see other Christians.
To say this would mean that they would have to inquire about the religious beliefs about any medical doctor before seeing them. And even if they did do that there would be absolutely no way of really knowing whether or not their dentist is truly Christian, unless they know him or her personally.
I reject the notion that all psychology and psychiatry are inherently anti-biblical anyway. But even if they were, it would be irrelevant because God can, and often does, use unregenerate men and women for the benefit of His people.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung
I know that amongst Christians who despise the fields of psychiatry and psychology, often attack Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. However, when they do this, they are essentially attacking a strawman because Psychiatry and Psychology have progressed so far from the founders of the fields that Freud and Jung are no longer the model for Psychiatry and Psychology. Their beliefs no longer hold any weight nor authority in these fields.
Many mental health professionals have been affirming faith and things such as prayer and Bible reading today because they acknowledge these things have positive effects on one’s mental health. I firmly believe that if a Christian who suffers from mental illness and will not seek mental health professional assistance, then they are living in sin.
I say this because when we refuse to take our medication and see our therapist, we are essentially telling God that we do not trust His sovereign providence in our lives. Also, when you have a clinical mental illness, it is very dangerous for you to choose to not seek medical treatment. I say this because mental illness is degenerative, which means that over time it will gradually get worse the longer you let it go untreated.
Mental Illness Is Degenerative
You may think you are fine, and you may be fine for many years, but your brain is slowly deteriorating. This is why once you have been diagnosed by a licensed psychiatrist, it is wise to get on medicine and to remain on it for the rest of your life, even when you are feeling better.
I know that in my life, I get tempted from time to time to go off of my medication because I think I am doing well. However, it is precisely during these moments that I need to remind myself that it is because of my treatment that I am doing better.
I am not saying that psychiatry and psychology is the end all, be all, of medical treatment for people for mental illness. These disciplines are not perfect and it does help to couple psychiatric medicine and therapy along with the spiritual disciplines of prayer, biblical meditation, and Bible reading. It does you no good to only utilize psychiatry and psychology at the expense of the biblical practices God has blessed us with.
In this blog, I will discuss some of the benefits of Psychiatry and Psychology on mental health. My hope is that after reading this article that you would be convinced to remain on your medical treatment plan. The argument I will be using to support this claim can actually be broken up into a syllogism.
The syllogism goes like this:
Premise #1: Every good gift comes from God
Premise #2: Psychiatry and Psychology are good gifts
Conclusion: Psychiatry and Psychology are from God
I will now break down this syllogism so that you can hopefully have a better understanding of this issue. After you finish reading this article I would like to read your thoughts on this issue.
So please leave a comment on the bottom of this page.
I hope you find this edifying to you and glorifying to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
Premise #1: Every Good Gift Comes From God
As I mentioned above, I believe in the doctrine of common grace. We get the concept of common grace from Matthew 6:25-30 which says,
“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which one of you by worrying can add a single hour to the span of his life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
And then there is also Matthew 5:44-45 which says,
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
As we can clearly see from these texts, God takes care of His creation through His ordinary providence. We must not assume that if it is not a supernatural event that God is not interacting with His creation. That would be an error in reasoning.
Charismatics and atheists alike assume that God only acts supernaturally. And they are both limiting the sovereignty of the Almighty God.
Premise #2: Psychiatry and Psychology Are Good Gifts
This is where I am going to get personal with you. As I said, if it were not for my medication and therapist I would be either dead or in prison today. If it were not for God’s sovereignty leading me to the right medication and therapist, I would have either taken my life or I would have done something while in a manic episode that would cause me to get arrested.
I have many times in my life made suicide attempts and even have come close to dying too. My last suicide attempt landed me in the ICU for a week.
Also, I have had delusions during mania episodes where I believed I needed to kill people too. So I understand how serious it is to remain on your medication and to see a therapist you trust too.
Its best to see both a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist instead of just one or the other.
The Lord has really used both Psychiatry and Psychology as methods that have literally saved my life. I know they are not perfect, but they are the most effective means for treating mental illness we have. So, we should not take them lightly nor should we disregard them either.
Conclusion: Psychiatry and Psychology Are From God
I hope that by now you can see the clear logic of how both of these scientific disciplines are valuable. They are also used by God for the benefit of the human beings He created on this earth.
If you are someone who deals with mental illness, or you know someone with mental illness, I would strongly encourage you to remain on your medication. Taking it regularly as prescribed, I would also recommend that you do not neglect seeing your therapist either. Both of these can and will save your life.
DISCLAIMER: This does not mean that medication and counseling will cure you of your mental illness. No, there is no cure for mental illness. However, with proper medication and counseling, you can manage your symptoms better so that you can live a functional life in society.
-David Lee Chu Sarchet
Christian Mental Health Advocate
For 24 hour peer support, please call the Christ-Centered Mental Health ministry line at 567-343-3727 or email me at email@example.com
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