BIBLICAL THERAPY HAS ITS ROOTS IN BELIEF MODIFICATION
When we want an answer to the question “Why do I do the things I do not want to do” which is based on the statement made by the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15, we need to turn to the Old Testament where we find the basis of all we do. Proverbs 23:7 tells us:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”
The Hebrew translation would read something like:
“As he is all along in his heart, so is he (at last) in act.”
Another very important Scripture that broadens our understanding of our
behaviour is also found in Proverbs 4:23
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
HEARTS AND MINDS DETERMINE BEHAVIOUR
The Hebrew word lêb in this context points to the will and centre of man from which flows the outgoings of his life. When we examine the rest of the verses we also find that God cautions man concerning his conversations and statements. We will also see later on how that the heart mind and speech work together in determining our behaviour. What we see, think and say determine where we land up in life. That is why we are exhorted to guard and protect our hearts against outside destructive forces. Unfortunately, as we have seen previously, we are exposed to images and sounds and emotions as small children which can leave a deep-rooted untrue concept in our hearts. Proverbs 4:24 says
“Put away from you a wicked mouth, and devious lips put far from you.”
TEACH CHILDREN THE RIGHTEOUS WAY
Research has shown that the average person has seen and heard enough lies by the age of 6 years to cause enough issues for the rest of their life. That is quite scary so we can understand why God is so concerned that we teach our children His ways and set the right example for them. Believing lies produces problematic thinking, which produces darkened emotions, which produce godless behaviour (Mark 7:5-23; 1 John 1:5-10; 2 John 2:4, 21 & 27).
BELIEF THAT COMES FROM THE TRUTH
A person’s spiritual, moral, and emotional health depends upon his “belief that comes from the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Spiritual health is related to “believing and knowing the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 3:7; Hebrews 10:26; John 8:32), walking in, or appropriating the truth (2 John 4), and obeying, or living out the truth (1 Peter 1:22). Psychiatric and emotional problems are always spiritual problems and sometimes physical ones. Very often they are hybrids – a combination of spiritual and physical.
Beliefs drive anger and pain. The Biblical Therapist’s role is to help a hurting and healing person identify the lies he/she believes, process those lies, and replace them with the truth. Unless there is the presence of an organic disorder, a person with a life-controlling or emotional problem may believe his present situation is the cause of his pain. This is seldom the cause. The Belief Therapist may help the client identify a lie that relates to the present circumstance, place it into perspective, and replace the lie with the truth. Sometimes there is the presence of cognitive dissonance: the anxiety caused by holding opposite beliefs at the same time, for example, the struggle one may have over the Bible position on abortion or homosexuality versus his/her own opinion.
THE NEW TESTAMENT ISN’T A SET OF RULES
There can also be the case of seeking a misplaced identity. Many Christians struggle today to become somebody they already are in Christ through self-effort. They interpret New Testament teaching as another set of rules to be obeyed instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to “make them holy” through grace and trust in the presence of Christ in them.
GOD REMOVES DENIAL
Then we have those described in Acts 7:51 who are stiff-necked and in denial of their issues. This is a major mental stronghold that resists godly change. Biblical therapists help people to recognize and overcome their denial so they can accept the healing and godly change which is freely offered through trusting in Christ.
YOU NEED BELIEF AND FAITH IN GOD
Biblical Therapy does not rely on therapeutic skills or abilities but depends on belief and faith in the power of God’s Word. If a hurting and/or healing person does not allow God to speak into his darkness, nothing will change.
DR KRIGE AND HOUSE REGENERATION
This adapted content was extracted from A Biblical Approach to Psychotherapy authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.