Monday, December 30, 2013

Christians Dealing with the Past: Good or Evil?

When Christians start conversations about psychology, they tend to go south quickly and escalate into arguments.

We have one school of thought that Christian Psychology is an excellent tool and we have another school of thought that all psychology is evil.

Both schools of thought can point to examples and Scripture to back their view.

So where do I stand on the matter? I believe they are both right and they are both wrong.

The “all psychology is evil school of thought” likes to use this Scripture:
 “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

They use this as proof that we are not to bring up our past and try to figure it out. That’s a great Scripture, but it’s taken out of context for one. Here it is in context:

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect , have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”  Philippians 3:12-16 

Paul clearly explains he is not yet perfect, and only those who are perfect can truly forget the past. It’s a worthy goal of his, but he has not yet attained it. Also, as a side note, in other passages Paul actually brings up his past and discusses it. [1]

Other Scriptures used about God not remembering our past are also taken out of context of the full counsel of Scripture. Such as saying God does not remember our sins or our past. Yet, He is God, so for Him to literally forget is impossible. It simply means He does not hold us accountable for the things which He has forgiven us. As Christians, when we stand before Him, we do not have to stand trial for our past.

And even God brings up the past over and over in Scripture. Psalms 107 is a perfect example of using the past to help us move toward a better future.

However, some of the “Christian Psychology school of thought” goes to the opposite extreme and have become truly secular in their work. They are using methods that do not help people heal, but rather coddle them, enable them, or teach them to blame others for their unhappiness.

Others have become all about positive thinking, which is not completely Scriptural either. Sure there are passages that discuss “positive thinking,” but there are also passages that discuss weeping over our sins and crying out for repentance. [2]

If the truth be told, anything that is bearing fruit in our life, whether good fruit or bad fruit, must have a root in us. We live on a cursed earth where weeds do in fact take root in our lives, just as they do in our gardens.

And just as a Gardener observes the weed and makes a decision, so must we. We can either pour “round-up weed killer” on the weed, knowing that it also hurts the ground and kills most other good roots as well, and that would equate to numbing our mind in alcohol, drugs (prescription or illegal), and/or other harmful behaviors or we inspect the weed and decide how to carefully dig it up, root and all and remove it from our garden before it seeds and starts a lot more or chokes the life out of our good plants.

If it has already seeded, you learn to identify what the weed looks like when it germinates, so you can pull it up before it roots deeply or seeds again.

You can’t dig up the weed and get rid of it if you don’t have the tools, strength, and knowledge. You can’t remove the root if you are going to pretend it’s not there, by ignoring the past. Sometimes bad fruit vines get so tangled in with our good fruit vines, we don't even have a clue as to the root (cause). We have to take time to go down the vine inch by inch until we figure out the root, so we can figure out which tools are needed to unearth this stronghold of a root.

Deliverance from our past is rarely a miraculous, overnight healing. Deliverance is methodical. It is well-planned and well-executed. Deliverance is war. War is an art.

 If an enemy tries to break inside your home and you just keep pushing away the thought of what is happening that is not going to stop him from making it inside and doing damage. On the other hand, if you have prepared for this encounter, have the right tools/weapons, you can prevail and he will not win the war!

This my friend, is the goal. To prepare for the battle for our minds and then use the weapons of our warfare! Christ is on our side and we are more than conquerors.[3]

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Choose Life, Giulianna  xoxoxox


  1. Corinthians 11
  2. James 4:8-10; Romans 12:15; Revelation 3:19
  3. Romans 8:37

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