My wife and I recently attended a funeral. An uncle had passed away. My wife’s mother is one of ten siblings, which means she belongs to a large family. The family is very close and funerals are in one respect a family reunion. It provides a setting to reconnect and catch up with others we may not get to see often.
I had the opportunity to speak with one of my wife’s cousins and she mentioned she had enjoyed some of my articles. She told me she was surprised that a paper would print articles that were so “bold.” She quickly added she did not mean that in a negative way, though I hadn’t taken what she said as being negative.
But as I thought on it later driving home I remember thinking that she did not seem to know how to articulate what she felt reading the column. “Bold” was simply what had come to mind at the time.
As I pondered her comment my mind settled on what I thought she recognized but did not know how to put it into words. Since I use biblical truth to interpret my commentary on current events the articles have a directness that seems very bold.
Over fifty years ago American psychologist Carl Rogers developed a humanistic theory on psychology that was termed non-directive therapy. This Rogerian method enjoyed a degree of popularity among a number of psychotherapists and their clients.
A typical therapy session would have the client lie on a couch and talk about their problems and concerns while the therapist listened and took notes. If the client asked at some point, “What should I do?” the therapist would ask something like, “What do you think you should do?”
The beauty of this method is it takes the burden off the counselor to come up with a solution to the client’s problem, and the client gains a certain amount of satisfaction and self-confidence in discovering an answer to what plagues him. Our uniquely American individuality and sense of independence prefers such a method.
In contradistinction, the Bible declares man’s problems stem from sinful actions that flow from an innately flawed nature, and offers direct counseling to correct our behavior that leads to a resolution of relational issues.
We might think it “bold” for God to tell us how we should live and interact with others. But the Creator is intimately aware of our physical, emotional and spiritual makeup and able to cut through the non-essential and tell us exactly what we should do.
If we want to live together safely and securely, then God tells us not to murder one another and not to take what belongs to another. If we hope to build trusting relationships and cooperation, then He tells us not to be unfaithful to our spouse and not to lie to one another.
Our lives are better when we follow His direction. “Your word I have treasured in my heart,” Psalm 119:11.