If you are going to call yourself a biblical counselor you had better take sin seriously. Please don’t label sin as sickness. If you have spent any time at all reading this blog, you already know tat this is one of my favorite topics!
Sickness can be medically qualified as sickness or disease because it brings about document able, measurable changes in the body’s structure or cells or physiology. The flu is an illness, diabetes is an illness, cancer is an illness, tumors and abnormal growth can be the result or the cause of an illness. In any of these cases, we treat the illness, remove the tumor, destroy the cancer.
But emotions are not organs, feelings are not tangible, thoughts are not made up of cells and do not have physiology. These things cannot become sick in the medical sense of the word. Do not get intimidated into labeling sin as sickness!
Society is at the bidding of psychopharmacology and make no mistake, their goal is to label sin as sickness. They have already mislabeled and relabeled bad feelings, bad or dead emotions, and sinful thoughts as illnesses or diseases. This has been done without any scientific proof that is measurable, reproducible, or reliable. These are theories being presented as fact even though they cannot be substantiated in any way scientifically.
As biblical counselors we do not deny the existence or organic brain disorders or emotional problems that are brought on through various means such as head injury or trauma, drug use, chemotherapy, or resulting from true abnormal physiology. It would be foolish to deny that there are true medical abnormalities that have as a side effect emotional problems. The approach in this case is to treat the cause of the abnormality and then the resulting emotional issues that were brought on by that abnormality will be resolved as well.
We have many counselee’s that come to us with a diagnosis code for an emotional or mental disorder. What we have found is that when the counselee understands and believes what the Bible says about their thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behavior and then they put into practice the appropriate changes, these supposed illnesses go away.
Don’t be afraid to treat sin as sin, regardless of the diagnosis code or medical terminology they come in with. Even with a legitimate mental illness the counselee will benefit from heart change and mind renewal. We are qualified to counsel when we have high expectations of our counselee's for change. We expect that they will be active and implement the changes we suggest. This applies to you and me too. I heard this once at a training seminar: "The best counselor, is a good counselee." Counsel yourself- daily!