A Tool For Our Toolbox

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus… Philippians 2:5 NRSV

What’s in your mind? Are your thoughts, feelings and behaviors moving you forward in your walk of faith? Are you trying to cultivate a mental experience that is more Christ-like?

MC900438727Psychology studies the mind and mental  experience. Viewed through the lens of Scripture, many of the principles of psychology can be used to help us develop a mental life that is pleasing to God and effective in meeting life’s challenges.

For some Christians, the word psychology raises warning flags.  They worry that psychology draws people away from God. They see psychology as a dangerous, faith-destroying weapon.

Others see psychology quite differently. They believe the Christian experience makes much more sense when seen through the eyes of Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner and Carl Rogers. So they turn to psychology for direction and illumination.

On the one hand, psychology is dangerous. When the profane and atheistic ideals of lost men are forced onto unsuspecting believers, truth is often obscured, and lives can end up adrift. Psychology, when applied in indiscriminate and uninformed ways, can lead to tragic results.

On the other hand, psychology is a science that gives us a unique way of probing the human heart and mind. Some of the principles of scientific psychology have been used by Christians for years as tools for healing and positive change.

It is probably best to see psychology for what it is. It is a tool. Tools can be used to wreck havoc, or to build beautiful things. It all depends onj0411713 whose hand the tool is in, their skill level, and what the intended purpose is.

Having the right tool is critical. But we also have to be careful to not ask a tool to do more than it was designed to do. Psychology was never meant to replace faith in Jesus Christ. It does not offer redemption, nor can it give us a sense of purpose or meaning.

Christians want to live lives that glorify God. We want to know Christ, and make him known. We want to become the people that God created us to be. Psychology provides us with some of the tools we need to pursue those goals.

On Fridays each week, we are going to look at the tools in the psychology toolbox through the lens of Scripture. Then we are going to consider practical ways we can apply those tools to helping us think, feel and behave in more Christ-like ways.

If we do that prayerfully, I trust that God’s Spirit will use what we discuss to help us become the people God created us to be!

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