I had the privilege of speaking to several churches lately on the topic of suicide prevention and biblical counseling. As a counseling center, we are committed to bringing God’s word into the darkest corners so that the light of Christ shines brightly.
In recent months, we have featured articles on PTSD, OCD, Abuse, and Suicide in our resource center. We write because we want to make sure that churches and counselors have God-honoring resources to guide them in these critical conversations.
Some have wondered whether the bible has insight on difficult topics like these. The following quote from David Powlison compares the view that God’s word gives us answers to difficult struggles, with the viewpoint of many that the bible is seemingly irrelevant to the deepest struggles of life.
If we see the bible as irrelevant, our answers will often sound like this:
Their Bible is seen as a child’s eight‑key, tin toy piano. Those eight white keys may be of central importance in music theory: the key of C‑major, beginning with middle‑C, sounds the basic do‑re‑mi after all. They’ll do for the Sunday School songs. But you can’t play much of depth and interest. No sonatas. No fugues. No concertos. You can’t sound the nuances, the variations, the minor keys of life. And no mature pianist would bother plunking around on an eight‑key tin piano. There are more interesting and flexible instruments around.
However, the bible paints a very different picture of life if we will let it:
But for the other sort of Bible‑believer, the Bible is a grand piano. In fact it’s a grand piano, plus the rest of the orchestra, plus the great composers, plus the great pianists, plus the great conductors. It sounds all the notes, all the tones, all the rhythms, all the keys, all the special effects, all the nuances. That’s the vision biblical counselors have of the Bible. It’s crammed. The Composer, Conductor, and Musician is active.
When people with thin Bibles hear people with crammed Bibles talk about the sufficiency of Scripture for counseling, they hear, “Something thin and incomplete is sufficient for a very complex job.” That sounds ridiculous. Biblical counseling sounds absurd, doctrinaire, obscurantist, the rantings of small‑minded know‑nothings who glory in their ignorance.
But when people with crammed Bibles speak of Scripture’s sufficiency they mean—or ought to mean—“Something living and active, inexhaustibly rich, comprehensive and relevant, is sufficient for a very complex job.” That sounds reasonable. And when in the trenches of face‑to‑face ministry the Lord Himself speaks to people, that profession of vision is vindicated.
How about you? Are you amazed how God’s Word can bring life and light to the most difficult issues in life?
Below are a few of our popular articles that explain how God’s word can be used in the most difficult of circumstances to help those in great need.
Please read these articles and share them with others:
- OCD: Biblical Help and Hope Now
- PTSD: Giving Help and Hope
- Counseling Childhood Sexual Abuse
- What Does God Say About Rage?
- How to Improve Your Emotions