Finally there’s one last thing I want to say. I imagine there are several pastors reading this who were raised culturally and theologically to believe things like therapy and medication are either for those who are “weak” or stem from an un-Christian view of the world. There’s truth to both of these. Much of our hyper-medicated society and obsession with therapy is science’s way of trying unsuccessfully to treat a spiritual malaise. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t real, chemical imbalances that happen in our brains that medicine can help limit. And it doesn’t mean there aren’t real traumas from your past God wants to lovingly unearth and heal.
Which brings me to the other point: This stuff is for those who are “weak.”
Yep. That is 100 percent true, and I am chief of the “weak people.” We all believe as Christians that humans are fallen creatures living in a fallen world. We also believe that when you break your arm, it’s not a spiritual failing to go to the emergency room because part of God’s grace on our world is the advancement of modern medicine.
Doesn’t it make sense that our emotional/mental/psychological world can use that same help?
Refusing to use avenues such as medication and therapy reminds me of the Syrian general Naaman from 2 Kings chapter 5. This strong and powerful man came to Elisha—a prophet belonging to the very people group Naaman was fighting against—because he was at his wit’s end struggling with leprosy. Elisha instructs Naaman to bathe seven times in the Jordan River. Instead of heading the Prophet’s prescription on first hearing, the general scoffs at the simplicity of the instructions. He was expecting something a little more miraculous. But after a pep talk from one of his servants, he obeys and is cured.
I want to humbly suggest that perhaps the church’s resistance to medication and therapy may be a little bit of a Naaman reaction. It might be pride that deters us. It might be fear of the unknown.
But what if this is the way God wants to heal us? It’s what he has done for me. If you know your anxiety problem is out of control, would you prayerfully consider whether God is speaking to you through this article?
Your spouse, children, co-workers and congregation will thank you.