This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
Biblical Counselors regularly say “hiding and self-focused remorse aren’t the same as God-oriented repentance.” The only way out was, and is, genuine repentance. Remorse and grief over my transgression against God. Turning away from pretending and performing. Turning toward faith in Jesus’ work for me and joy in his presence. Thankfully, a group of Godly friends, my loving wife, and a wonderful Biblical Counselor helped me see and confess my eating disorder as sin. They helped lead me in repentance as I turned away from my own work and toward Christ-centered joy and the restoration of physical health. But it was hard. Really hard.
- Whether you’re male or female, here is a podcast to help you think through a clinically-informed biblical counseling approach to an eating disorder.
How I Finally Kicked My O.C.D. by Rich Monahan
It started in seventh grade, when two childhood friends aged out of hanging out with me. Already depressed and on the verge of friendlessness, I was desperate to preserve life as it had been. “Well,” my brain misfired, “Last time you all hung out together, you wore that one pair of Hanes tighty whities. Put those on.” I did. Then I wore them again the next day, and the next, for 30 days straight.
- Posts like this one always encourage me to reflect on new questions, here are 18 questions about mental illness I’ve considered.
When the Unbeliever Departs: The Aftermath by Rachel Joy Welcher
My time married to an unbeliever was short. What ended this season was not the joy of the prodigal son returning home but the numb surrender of signing divorce papers. Some of you have been plunged into this hell. Divorce leaves half your body on the other side of a closed door. Others of you are experiencing the agony of watching the person you love slip farther and farther away from the truth. Maybe you sit in silent disbelief. Maybe you have joined them in their doubts. Maybe you are anxious to fix their faith or are trying your best to adjust to a new normal.
- If you are in a marriage that is struggling (doing what you can to see the marriage restored) and wondering how to restore trust without giving blind, unwarranted trust here is – 10 Step Progression for Restoring Broken Trust.
An Open Letter to the Suffering Christian by David Powlison
What words can I say to you when your life is hard and you are hurting? If we were face to face, I probably wouldn’t start with words at all. I would want you to talk when you are able. I want to know you, what you are going through, what it is like for you, and how you are doing. Simply being present and conveying that tears, heartache, and confusion are valid would probably be more helpful. Many wise Christians have commented that Job’s counselors did well until they opened their mouths (Job 2:11-13), and I certainly don’t think there is some magic word that will make everything better.
- If you want to know more about how the gospel speaks to suffering, consider this article.
11 Ways We Can All Nurture Our Mental Health by Amy Simpson
At the same time, our mental health is not entirely outside our control. In fact, even when a genetic predisposition is present, or our circumstances are harmful, our lifestyle choices can prevent a disorder from developing, lessen its severity, or help us achieve better recovery. Regardless of our predispositions, experiences, or sense of health, it really doesn’t make sense for anyone to neglect the opportunity to protect and strengthen our mental health. No matter who you are, why not give some thought and care to your mental health this year? Here are 10 ways we can all do that.
- In addition to Amy’s excellent list, here are a few additional ways you can steward your body to contribute to your mental health.
What I’m Reading
The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel.Pastor Jamin Goggin and theology professor Kyle Strobel invite readers on a journey to uncover Jesus’ seemingly contradictory way to power: weakness.
Why do so many rock-star pastors implode under the spotlight? Why do modern-day churches become so entangled in growing their brand that they lose sight of their true purpose? Because, according to Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel, Christians have succumbed to the temptations of power and forgotten Jesus’ seemingly contradictory path to power—first giving it up.
In The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb, Goggin and Strobel paint a richly biblical vision of power through weakness. They invite readers to join them on an adventure around the world, seeking out great sages of the faith with uncommon wisdom to offer those traveling the path of Christian life. As readers eavesdrop on the authors’ conversations with people such as J. I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Marva Dawn, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, James Houston, and Eugene Peterson, they begin to piece together the new-old reality of following Jesus today. In the end, The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb offers a compelling vision of the way of Jesus that will challenge both individual believers and the church as a whole.
Tweets of the Week
”Change happens one person at a time.” – Dr. Ralph West #mlk50Confernce
— AaronTurner (@aaronjoeturner) April 4, 2018
“The entire Bible pivots on one weekend in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago.” @DACarson_
— Tony Merida (@tonymerida) March 31, 2018
“Resurrection is for brokenhearted people. Before Christ died &rose again, suffering was meaningless, empty, a shattering experience. Then Jesus died in suffering &pain, &he covered suffering with victorious, holy love. This kind of love will never be conquered!” –F. Kivengere
— Justin Holcomb (@JustinHolcomb) April 1, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.
When the deadline comes too close pic.twitter.com/8EfyXaJGNe
— franck nijimbere (@nijfranck) March 23, 2018