In my last post I mentioned an idea, that “This world is not our home: Our job is not to achieve perfection in this fallen world, but instead, learn how to navigate it with a healthy and intact spirit.”

Allow me to expand a little on what I mean by that…

In the Bible there is a verse where Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble, but do not fear, for I have overcome the world.”   The obvious parallel is “life is hard, then you die;” but it wasn’t always this way.  

The book of Genesis describes a beautiful paradise where the law of the land was life and goodness thriving in abundance;   but that goodness was corrupted, not specifically by man, but by the introduction of sin.  PLEASE don’t check out yet because I used the “S” word… “Sin” is the English word translated from the Greek word ‘hamartia,’ an old archery term meaning “to miss the target.” Basketball has a term with a similar meaning, “airball” meaning the player didn’t just miss the shot, but missed the entire basket, rim, backboard, pretty much the whole structure.

Back to Genesis, Adam and Eve had one target, to do what God directed them to do. But when Satan introduced an alternative target of “God just wants to keep you in your place, you can get what you want for yourself” the law of the land changed to “dog eat dog” and “only the strong survive” – literally. Under the new law of nature both the environment and one’s neighbors become dangerous.  

I believe humans spend the first part of their lives learning how to survive and “get their share” while getting cut, bit, hurt, and abused along the way in this paradise turned wilderness. I also believe that God’s original target is still standing, amongst the million other competing alternative targets people get to aim at, in their attempts to be “successful.”  By aiming at these alternative targets (i.e. fame, wealth, comfort, acceptance, etc.), we miss God’s target entirely (sin). I believe that God is not only a powerful creator, but also a loving Father, who wants us back in paradise in spite of the dangers of the wilderness we currently navigate;  and while Christians still get hurt, He has the knowledge and power to heal those wounds, if we follow his healing prescriptions. I also believe that God’s ideas will generally sound foolish to those committed to shooting at the other alternative targets. Let me give you an idea of what I mean by “healing prescriptions.”

The Bible is not a text book on psychology. However, it can play an important part in counseling in that there are many verses that apply directly to human behavior today.  Many clients find the concepts described in Scripture to be powerful in their day-to-day interactions with others, with their own internal thoughts, and external behaviors. If science is unbiased in its description of nature and humans, and if God made nature and humans, then it is reasonable to suggest that science is likely to support God’s statements regarding how He created both.

There is an admonition in the Book of James (v1:22) to “be doers of the Word, not hearers only;” meaning part of the effort of understanding Scripture is learning how to apply it to daily life. One of the freedoms and the difficulties in that Scripture is that there are times it provides important guidance on “what” to do, but leaves the “how” of doing it to us.

Some of the verses that have proven especially helpful include:
•Matthew 12:34 and 17:15 - What a person says and does describe themselves much more than the person they were directing to words to.
•Ephesians 4:26 - There may be a way to express anger at an injustice, without hurting anyone, or doing something that results in guilt and or shame. Basically “be angry” but do so in a way that you don’t do anything wrong to feel guilty about, or apologize for later.  
•Galatians chapter 6, verses 2 and 5 – that at first glance might seem to be contradictory, can in fact define a line between when a Christian might to say “yes” AND when they might say “no.”

In the next few posts, I will be touching on some of these specific scriptures, and how they might be applied in mental health counseling.  This discussion represents an adaption of Biblical Scriptures to healing in a mental health setting. This discussion is NOT meant to be a theological exposition of the Scripture. It is also NOT meant as the only way these Scriptures might be used, nor is this intended to be an exhaustive list of Scriptures that can be applied. My intention is simply to provide an example of how these verses have been important in the lives of people struggling with depression, anxiety and other challenges to mental health.

My hope is that these posts will inspire you to ask questions, engage in dialogue. Please engage in the process of this exploration by asking questions or presenting challenges that these articles might raise for you; and if you are interested in coming in to our clinic to learn more, please see our website at  

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