Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Anger or Good Health #2

My dissertation helped me to see how the Bible teaches on healing, growth, change and counseling. In fact, it is a rarely discussed truth that Counseling and Psychotherapy was done by people of faith until Freud came along and got Medical Doctors involved. That was in the 20th Century!

It had always been called seelsorge. In German. That means Soul Care!

When I prepared to leave for Graduate School to study Counseling and Psychology, a friend warned me that "It is from the devil".  I was shocked to hear him say it and was he ever wrong. In fact, it is the reverse. Psychology helps me understand the Bible and the Bible helps me under stand Psychology.

For example, I learned in Psychology to do a Differential Diagnosis. That is simply a process to "differentiate one thing from another" to make sure we are not jumping to conclusions about the cause or cure of an issue without a careful examination.

We do the same in Bible study but call it an exegesis. That is why we have developed systematic studies of scripture and do not just use a text out of context to teach key principles. That results in Practical Theology.

We also learn to differentiate one word from another. The meaning  in English can be very different in Greek. For example, Ephesians 4 says in English, "You will be angry but so not sin with it." A verse later it says. "Do not allow the sun go down on your anger".

Both use the term "anger" but they come from completely different Greek words. the first means "Feelings of anger" and the second means "Holding Bitterness". Paul seems to say, "Of course you will feel anger but do not hang on to those feelings overnight."

Learning how to differentiate in Counseling taught me how to do similar things in teaching and writing about Pastoral Care or Soul Care.

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