The healing of the mind and the soul
· With faith you can work miraculous changes in your life- in seven days!
· Psychiatry comes from the Greek word Psyche meaning the mind or soul and iatrea which means healing, thus it means the healing of the mind and soul.
· Often a minister is a psychiatrist because he deals not only with the mind of people but also with their souls. The very essence of religion is to adjust the mind and soul of man. Only God can heal the soul.
· The physician is a minister of God. All true scientific research is merely an organized effort to learn the laws of God and how they operate.
· The teacher is also a minister of God. The teacher seeks to train the mind to seek the truth. A mind which thinks error is a sick mind.
· The author of this book is a pastor of a big church. He had the opportunity to council many people and he notes "I have not yet found one in need of healing of his/her mind or situation, where I have not also found that one of the basic principles was violated. So i say that most of all we need God's psychiatry."
· If a man lives according to these principles, his life will be whole and healthy. If he violates them, he will be sick. As someone put it: he who formed our frame, made man a perfect whole; and made the body's health depend upon a soul.
HOW TO THINK OF GOD
1. A Pattern of thinking
· A successful man was referred to his pastor by his doctor. He achieved all his goals, but one of the things he did not achieve was happiness. He was nervous, tense and worried. The pastor prescribed the 23rd psalms 5 times a day. The prescription is simple but it can change your life.
· Ralph Waldo Emerson said "A man is what he thinks about all day long" Marcus Aurelius said " A man's life is what his thoughts make it". Norman Vincent Peale says "Change your thought and you change your world." The Bible says "For as a man thinketh in his heart , so is he" (prv 23:7). The power of this Psalm lies in the fact that is represents a positive, hopeful, faith approach to life.
· St. Paul expresses "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark" (phil 3:13).
2. The Lord is my Shepherd, I Shall Not Want
· A shepherd analogy will be used to explain the 23rd Psalm, since it was written by David who was a shepherd. Instinctively, the sheep knows that the shepherd has made plans for tomorrow. The Lord is my shepherd means that we do not have to beg God for things.
· After world war II, some orphans were given food and shelter, yet the children would not sleep well. Finally a psychologist hit on a solution, after the children were fed and put to bed, they were given an additional slice of bread to hold. That assurance gave the child the calm to sleep.
· All life came from God. That includes my life. God keeps faith with the fowls of the air and the grass of the field, and Jesus asks us how much more will He do for us (math 6:25).
3. He Maketh Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures
· The shepherd starts the sheep grazing about 4 or 5 am, by 10 o'clock, the sun is beaming down and the sheep are hot, tired and thirsty, so the shepherd makes the sheep lie down in a cool soft spot.
· Study the lives of great people and you will find every one of them drew apart from the hurry of life for the rest and reflection. Great poems or songs were not written on crowded streets or in the midst of the multitudes; our vision of God come when we stop. "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
· Sometimes God puts us on our backs in order to give us a chance to look up. Sometimes we are forced, not by God, but by circumstances to lie down, but that can also be a blessed experience. Whitter wrote : Take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace.
4. He Leadeth me Beside the Still Waters
· The sheep is a very timid creature. It is especially afraid of swiftly moving water and for a good reason. The sheep is a poor swimmer because of it's heavy coat. The water soaks in the sheep's coat and pulls it down. The sheep will not drink from a moving stream but rather from still water.
· The shepherd does not laugh at the sheep's fears, and he does not force the sheep but he leads it to still waters. If there is no still waters, the shepherd gathers stones and fashions them to create a dam.
· God knows our limitations and he does not condemn us because we have weakness. God never demands of us work which is beyond our strength and ability. God ministers to our needs and He understands the load upon our shoulders.
· The great Martin Luther King used to sing: A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing: Our helper He amidst the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
5. He Restoreth my Soul
· Sometimes the sheep leaves it's place and trots over toward the shepherd. The shepherd will gently rub the ear and nose of the sheep. Reassured the sheep is encouraged and takes its place in line again.
· David remembered how close he once was to God, who protected him against Goliath and guided him along the way to success. Then David got busy and lost his nearness to God. He became unhappy and burdened with guilt. He repented, God heard and forgave and restored.
· The human mind is like a human body. It can be wounded. Sorrow is a wound, and it cuts deeply but it will heal unless something gets into the wound such as bitterness or self pitty.
· The bible tells that God made the first man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (gen 2:7) , God has the power and willingness to breathe a new breath of life into one who has lost.
· Speaking to a large number of physicians in Atlanta, Dr. R.B. Robins declared, "The psychiatrist's couch cannot take the place of the church in solving the problems of a frustrated society." He restoreth my soul- He revives life in me.
6. He Leadeth me in the paths of rightousness for His name sake
· David remembers from his own experience as a shepherd that the sheep have no sense of direction and the they have poor eyes.
· God does not promise an easy and effortless life, but he does promise to go with us. "He leadeth me" God doesn't drive, but He is climbing the same hill with us.
7. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
· The sheepherder describes an actual valley of the shadow of death in Palestine, with narrow and dangerous pathways. The path is rough and there is danger that a sheep may fall to it's death but the sheep is not afraid because the shepherd is with it.
· For most of us death is the most terrifying fact of life. But the valley of the shadow of death refers to more than the actual experience of physical death. It might refer to every hard and terrifying experience of life. Wherever my pathway leads me, I will not be afraid said David. Why for Thou art with me.
8. Thy rod and staff they comfort me
· The sheep is a helpless animal, it has no weapon with which to fight. It is easy prey to any wild beast. But the shepherd carries a rod, which is a heavy hard club for protection. He also carries a staff, which is long with an end that is turned into a crook. It is used to help the sheep if it loses it's footing. It is a comfort to know that the shepherd will be able to meet an emergency.
· I have auto insurance, I hope I do not need it but it comforts me. Seemingly there is overwhelming evil in this world. Many times we feel helpless, then we find comfort in realizing the power of God. "God is my salvation, what foe do I have to fear"
9. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
· In the pastures grew poisonous plants that could be fatal to the sheep. Each spring the shepherd will dig out these enemies and burn them, thus the pastures became prepared table and the enemy is destroyed.
· We constantly must do the same for our children, we must protect them from drugs and violence. We must constantly crusade against the enemy of life. It is not enough to just piously sit around being good. "lead us not into temptation", as we move along through life, there will be enemies who seed to destroy us, but we must lean on the shepherd of men.
10. Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over
· As sheep grazed some get injured. At the end of the day the shepherd would stand at the door of the fold and examine each sheep as it comes in. If they were hurt he would apply soothing and healing oil. The shepherd also provided the sheep with water to quench it's thirst.
· If you expect to live life , you must also expect bruises and hurt. A heart can be broken, a conscience can hurt like an infected tooth, feelings can be hurt, the world can be cruel and harsh. Notice even though all day long the shepherd has been concerned with the flock, but as they go in he takes them one by one. So is it with God. Jesus said "He calleth his own shepp by name" john 10:3
11. Surley goodnes and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
· In the play south pacific, Mary martin sang " I'm stuck like a dope, with a thing called hope, I can't get it out of my heart." David was not wistfully thinking, he says surely…surely…surely. Some people think themselves into a disaster. They start feeling a little bad and then they fill their minds with negative thoughts. Franklin Roosevelt said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". Quit predicting disaster for your world the psalmist said, begin the morning with hope. "this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it" psalm 118:24
12. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever
· There is no place like home. It is a great feeling to go home. It is sad to see the homeless wandering around the streets seeking a cheap bed. But more pathetic than the homeless is to find a person who is not sure of God and has no hope of the eternal home. "I am the resurrection and life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" John 11:25
GOD'S PSYCHIATRY PART II
GOD'S RULES FOR LIVING
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
1. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GOD BEFORE ME
· People cannot be happy and successful merely by the possessions of things. The way they live is more important than what they have. The ten commandments are the ten rules of living. These rules will never go out of date and never be changed. If people live by them they will be blessed. They not only provide moral and spiritual basis, but also basis for peace and prosperity.
· The fool has said in his heart that there is no God, and it is only a fool who thinks he is big enough or smart enough to violate the unchangeable laws of the eternal God and get by with it. No man can break God's law, he breaks only himself.
· Very important is the order in which God stated his laws. The first four deal with man's relationship with God, the last six with man's relationship with man. Before man can live rightly with each other, he must first get right with God. As HG wells puts it "until a man has found God he begins at no beginning; he works at no end"
· The first commandment is somewhat surprising . We would think that it would be "thou shalt believe in God" a law against atheism. There is no such law. God took care of that in our creation. Man is incomplete without an object of worship; the yearning of his soul demands attention. But man can turn from the one true God and make for himself another god. God said "Thou shalt have no other God before me."
· There are five objects of worship which the multitudes today have put before God: wealth, fame , pleasure, power and knowledge.
· Wealth: we will never be satisfied by what we possess. Maybe that is good, maybe that is good except when that dissatisfaction obscures our feelings for God and divers our search for Him. You can be so preoccupied with what you have and forget your soul.
· Fame: Even little children say see how high I can jump or watch me. We are born with the desire to be noticed. That is not wrong and it is not wrong to look our best but it is wrong to put ourselves before God.
· Happiness: All men want to be happy, but we make the mistake of thinking that pleasure is happiness. Pleasure is like dope, gradually we must increase the dose for more excitement. One of our greatest temptations is to put pleasure before God.
· Power and knowledge: Power is not wrong, neither is knowledge. But power worshiped turns us into little Hitlers. Knowledge is good, but the worship of knowledge destroys obedience, just like the worship of power destroys character.
2. Thou Shalt Not Make Unto Thee Any Graven Image
· Most people feel less guilty of breaking this rule, yet more is said about it in the bible. The danger lies in the fact that it is easy to worship the means instead of the goal. The Bible, churches, music, and ministers are sacred only because they lead us to God. For example denominationalism can be a violation of this rule. A methodist can be just as good a Christian as a Baptist or any denomination.
3. Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of The Lord Thy God in Vain.
· The 1st rule is to put God first, the 2nd rule is to get the right picture and the 3rd rule is to think about God in the right way. The secret desires of our hearts show up in our very appearance. Some psychiatrists have made extensive studies which show that a person's thoughts show up in his features. God'r 3rd rule is to put something high and holy in our thinking about God. To talk about God and not live like God, is profanity worse than vile language. An empty meaningless faith maybe worse than none. If I say a man is my friend yet never want to be with him and never ask his help then I am lying when I use the word friend. Fellowship with God and seek his help.
4. Remember the Sabath Day, to Keep it Holy
· Each one of God's Ten Rules for living is vital , but God said more abut this one than any other. God says man needs to set aside a day each week and to keep it holy. It is a reward for your labor to rest, but to forget God's gift is to cheat ourselves. It is by the Sabath that we know that we are not working animals. It is the Sabath that should be man's goal and not labor. It is well established that one can do more work in 6 or 5 days than in seven. A run-down person is an unproductive person. The philosopher Santayana said "a fanatic is one who, having lost sight of his aim, redoubles his effort". We get high strung in the race of life that we forget we need relaxed recreation and spiritual inspiration.
5. Honor Thy Father and Mother
· God gave us ten rules to live by. The first 4 deal with our relationship with him, the last 5 deal with our relationship to others. The fifth one has been called the centerpiece of God's laws. This rule means 1- The parents must be honorable, 2- Children should recognize, love and respect their parents, ( may be our parents have made mistakes, but they gave us life, they nurtured us as babies which is far more than anyone else has done or ever can do) and 3- This rule goes beyond our immediate parents, we must recognize our debt to the past and be thankful for it.
6. Thou Shalt Not Kill
· God made us to live with each other and the very process of living requires certain rules. Without rules to go by the process of living would be impossible. Here is a highway over which many cars can travel safely if they obey the rules of driving. To break the rules would make the highway unsafe to all who use it. Instead of an instrument of service, the highway becomes an instrument of death. Now life can be good or bad- it depends on how well we keep the rules as we go along.
· This commandment forbids exposing ourselves or others to needless physical risks, such as excessive speed on the highway, unsafe work conditions, improper housing, harmful pleasures and the like.
· Also forbidden is exposing ourselves or others to needless moral or spiritual risks. We can kill by killing faith or ideals. Also, such things as ingratitude, neglect, cruelty, indifference can be slow but sure instruments of death.
· To live and let live is only half the meaning of "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Positively it means to live and help live. This is the positive side of living. Such beasts as hate, greed, prejudice, war, ignorance, poverty, disease leave us unmoved until they endanger someone we love. It is then we exert all our strengths against them. And if we come to love all men, so we enter the war against all enemies of men.
· The day in whose clear-shining light, All wrong shall stand revealed, When justice shall be clothed with might, And every hurt be healed. - Frederick Hosmer-
7. Thou Shalt Not commit Adultery
· It is a sin that should be discussed as little as possible, but , since God lists it in seriousness next to murder, and since a large area of our modern society tends to consider it more a harmless moral breach than breaking God's eternal law, we need to be reminded that God says , "Thou Shalt not…"
· What is adultery? Adultery is a violation of the marriage vow of faithfulness to each other. Any sex experience outside the marriage bond is adultery. Jesus goes even a step further and says lust in our hearts, even though unexpressed, is adultery. We know that sometimes wrong thoughts slip into our mind and we cannot help it, but to turn that thought into lust means to keep it in the mind, secretly to enjoy it, to make friends with it.
· Why is adultery wrong? It is wrong because God said it is wrong. He said it is wrong because it hurts people. It is wrong because it destroys marriages. It cannot be justified. Thus, having broken the law, our minds becomes wounded. A marriage needs love and trust, adultery destroys both.
8. Thou shalt not steal
· God's eighth rule for life is the foundation of our entire economic system. To take away from one that which is rightfully his is wrong in the sight of God. Stealing does not only mean aggressive stealing by a robber, included is also living beyond your mean, or going into debt without a reasonable probability of paying back, or to fail to give an honest day's work. Also we can steal from another his inner support, one does not live by bread alone. Shakespeare puts finger on the worst form of stealing "he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed"
· Everything belongs to God, we are only the caretakers. How can I give to God what is rightfully his? There is only one way, that is service to others. A gentleman is one who puts more into life than he takes out. "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
9. Thou shalt not bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor
· Of the 10 commandments, the one we break the most is the ninth. The reason for this is that we talk most bout people. Those of great minds discuss ideas, those of mediocre minds discuss event, and those of small minds discuss people. Another reason we break this commandments is because it ministers to our needs. It takes some of the sting out of our own failures if we can rub off the glitter of someone else's crown. It is a sure sign of an inferiority complex when a person tells of the faults of another. Back of much gossip is jealousy. Sometimes we gossip in the form of sympathy, or by asking questions. Then we gossip just by listening. There cannot be gossip without an ear to hear.
· We should remind ourselves by the old saying: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves the best of us , to talk about the rest of us.
· The person who talks about one who sins, is worse off than the one who actually commits the sin. This may be extreme, but it may also be true.
10. Thou shalt not covet
· God's final rule for life is "Thou shalt not covet" That does not mean that all desire is wrong. Without desires, no one would have any ambition, we would not work, we would not make progress. To covet means I think of myself and of what I can get. God would have us forget ourselves and think of what we can give. "It is more blessed to give than receive"
· God gave us these ten laws for our good. He wants us to be our best and to get the most that is possible of life. His last rule brings us to the very climax of living, which is contentment. That is what we all want. Contentment gives peace and joy in our minds and hearts.