My first week’s Psychology Discussion Forum’s question was as follows:
Some Christians believe that as long as you have the Bible, you don’t need psychology. Based on your reading of the first chapter and viewing the video, explain three ways in which you believe psychology could be helpful in dealing with some of the challenges in one’s life.
My answer? Here it is:
Knowing how the mind works is very important. When we understand our brain work and thought processes, we will be better equipped in the three following ways:
1. Our ability to see Satan’s subtle working on our minds, and to resist his disguised temptations. Sin starts in the mind. For example, Christ told us in Matthew 6 that by even lusting after a woman in your heart it’s as if you have already comitted adultery with her. Also, Satan often plants seeds of doubt and depression in the mind. So, if by the study of Psychology we can gain a better knowledge of how our thoughts affect our behaviors, we will be better equipt to guard against Satan’s tempting suggestions and will know how to see symptoms of depression or doubt before they have fully affected us. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2) “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against You.” (Psalms 119:11)
2. Our ability to better understand and help those of other faiths or opinions, and to lead them to the truth of the Bible. Many times people are held in bondage to error because of their culture, their upbringing, and sometimes just their own preconceived ideas. If Psychology can give us a better understanding of how these things affect people’s thinking, then we will know better how to reach them with the truth of God’s Word. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them…. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)
3. Our ability to gain a deeper knowledge of God and His Word. Psychology can help us to think critically, to examine for ourselves whether things our true. We can apply this to our Bible Study. Comparing Scripture with Scripture, and verse with verse, until we know for ourselves that God’s Word is true and reliable. Also, we were made in the image of God. He created us with minds, and if we learn about our minds, it should give us a deeper knowledge of the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
However, I also feel that we should be wary of worldly Psychology. For, as Paul states in Colossians 2:8, “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.”
1 Samuel 16:7, Matthew 9:4, and Luke 11:17 all show that the Lord can read the hearts and minds of men. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that the God who made us and fashioned our minds and can see our very thoughts would tell us all that we need to know about them in His Word? Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful… and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Human theories and theologies that are not grounded in God’s Word will soon pass away and fade from the minds of men, as newer and more exciting “discoveries” override them year after year. But God’s Word and the principles found in it, including those pertaining to the workings of the mind, are principles that we can forever trust in, as they will stand tried and true through countless ages. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
Now it’s your turn. What do you think?