People with bad feelings and feeling-directed behavior—anger, fear, worry, depression—usually are given a psychiatric label. Initially, I was comfortable with that approach, but I have come to realize that people must be evaluated based on a proper understanding of the Bible. When that happens the whole person (thinking, wanting, and doing) will be considered—not just outward behavior and feelings.
Feelings, their generation and the person’s response to them, will not be the major criteria for some label or the target for treatment, medical and otherwise. Rather, thinking and wanting that leads to bad feelings will be the target of the Christian helper—friend, pastor, counselor, and physician. Thinking, wanting, and doing—thereby feelings, will be evaluated using the filter of biblical truth.
The truth sets people free as they apply it to their situation with the goal of pleasing God. Biblically-controlled thinking and wanting will replace sinful thoughts and desires. Biblically-controlled actions will follow. Turning the patient to the root and heart of the issue—his thinking and wanting and his relationship with Christ—is the first step in helping the person get victory in his problems, not necessarily out of them. Victory, God’s way, won’t come until we view all feeling states, and man, from a biblical perspective.