This article is essential reading for anyone who is serious about overcoming anxiety, stress, and frustration. Let’s first set the context by considering this passage from Proverbs:
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Prov. 3:7-8).
One of our responsibilities as Christians is to be witnesses to weary travelers who are trying to use human resources to deal with sin. The collapse of family life and the escalation of dishonesty, stealing, violence, crime, physical and sexual abuse speaks for itself. Our world needs a good dose of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Many in our day wonder whether their problem can be solved by spending time in the solitude of some peaceful place or whether they must see their doctor for medical help. Christian’s minds are confused by the constant magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and news reports that claim a cure to the monotony of life. They wonder whether their problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual. Where do they turn when everyone is claiming to have the answer?
Am I depressed? Am I A.D.D.? Do I have a chemical imbalance? Why am I so dissatisfied with life? Can somebody help me? These are the questions that I hear every week as people consult me looking for peace.
Can the biblical counselor be so bold as to claim that the Scriptures have all the answers they are looking for? Maybe a person they counsel started with a sin problem but now has a physical problem too. Now what?
Counselors trained in other than biblical methods seem to think God is not the answer. Family members are tired of going to secular and Christian counselors and churches looking for help but coming up empty. Who really has the answer?
Jesus has the answer but many are so disoriented to a relationship with Him that they can’t seem to find Him. For every born-again believer, He is available twenty-four hours a day yet many cannot sense His presence. How do they get back in tune with Him? IF they do, will Jesus solve their problem? Can Jesus deal with physical issues or is He just interested in your spiritual condition? If your problem is physical, what do you do next?
Maybe you do have a physical problem. If so, go see your doctor and seek help. However, you must not ignore your spiritual condition. Medical doctors have stated to me many times that up to ninety percent of the people who come for help have a problem that did not began physically. Possibly an ulcer has developed. But why? Maybe it is high blood pressure or constant headaches. Sure the problem is physical, but why did it start. Dr. Henry Brandt told me a long time ago that many people develop ulcers because they cannot “stomach” someone. Constant headaches can begin because of constant worry and tension.
Could sin have brought on this physical problem? Possibly, but not necessarily. However, if you are having constant medical problems it is worth asking the question, “Am I sick, am I sinful, or both?” Answering this question will help you know what to do next.
King David had a sin problem and a physical problem. He stated, “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin” (Psa. 38:3). The Scripture is clear, your sin problem can bring on physical problems too. When this happens, you may need a medical doctor but not at the expense of ignoring your soul. Proverbs 18:14 states, “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” If you have a spiritual problem and leave it untreated, then it will get worse and affect your body. Listen to David’s analysis in Psalm 38:4-10, “For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.”
What happens when sin is cleansed from the human spirit? David believed that when sin is erased–emotional, mental, and physical health begins an unbelievable comeback. Not that all physical problems will disappear but rather a new attitude helps one deal with what sin left behind. David said in Psalm 51: 8-12, “Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
If a physical sickness remains after being restored in your spirit, go see your medical doctor and let him/her guide you through restoration, if it can be found.
© 2008 Kerry L. Skinner