Instead of prayer, more and more of us are turning to another “P” – psychiatry. There is an interesting article in one of my journals that talks about an “epidemic of psychological and psychiatric addicts” hooking their children on a lifetime of “counseling sessions”. These children in need of therapy range in age from 10 to 36. I guess if I had a thirty six year old son living in my basement I might send him to a psychologist as well, but the whole thing seems to me to be overblown at every level. The children in need of therapy all seem to be mixed into the “low self esteem” basket and of course nothing boosts your self esteem like pouring out your deepest fear to a stranger. Insurance companies seem to be actually supporting this as well, thanks to some government intervention, and of course the psychiatrists and counselors love it. Nothing says I care like a $150 an hour gab fest. The verdict is still out on the folks going to the counseling but my guess is that they love it too. All that attention and your peers knowing that you go to a “shrink” is pretty heady stuff. I have never yet met anyone in a counseling session, or out of one for that matter, who has too little self esteem. It is the opposite. They are pretty hot stuff and they are depressed that the rest of the world doesn’t see it.
Of course low self esteem is a joke. We suffer from the opposite. We want control. We want acknowledgement. We want everything and then some. When we don’t get it, all hell will break loose. If you think I am writing metaphorically here you are sadly mistaken. We, human beings who do not get our way, will literally raise hell.
Luther had a way of getting to the “nut” of things, no pun intended. To those who go to counseling to “find themselves” Luther should be required reading. He wrote a commentary of Psalm 5:2-3 that is really quite amazing. The problem of human beings is that we all perversely seek divinity and we make ourselves to be “unhappy and haughty gods.” He uses remarkably psychological language 300 years before psychology was invented. He says that God works to “to lead us back to a knowledge of ourselves”.
How God does that is the subject of the next blog.