After I wrote an article for the college newspaper, one of my former professors asked me if next year I would speak to his biblical counseling class. Apparently, the day after the paper came out, the class had had a whole discussion on whether believers should use medications. This professor said that in general the class seemed to think that therapy should be “enough.”
And it may be. For some people.
I’m not going to preach, but I will do a little copy-and-paste job here and share an old story:
A man who couldn’t swim very well was stranded in the middle of the lake. He prayed to God, asking Him to save him from drowning. Shortly after, a man on a boat came by.
“Do you need some help?” He asked, slowing his boat to a stop next to the man.
“No thank you,” The man replied. “God will save me.” The man with the boat shrugged his shoulders and kept going.
Next, a man with a canoe paddled next to him, slowing to a stop and asking, “Do you need some help?”
“No thank you. God will save me.” The man replied, smiling. The man on the canoe shrugged, and paddled on.
Next, a man in a tiny paddle boat came by, stopping next to the man and asking, “Do you need some help?”
The drowning man replied, “No thank you, God will save me.” The man in the paddle boat shrugged, and paddled away.
The drowning man did indeed drown, and when he reached heaven, he asked God “Why didn’t you save me?”
God replied “I gave you three boats. What more did you want?”
Nice story. When I first heard it, the “man” was actually a rabbi, which I guess says a lot about religion in general.
Down with religion! Up-up-up with JESUS! 🙂
Good post 🙂
I had the same type of conversation with my roommate, about whether medications are ok to use. For me telling someone that therapy should be enough and medication is never the answer is like telling a nearsighted person that it’s a sin to wear glasses, or someone with cancer that they shouldn’t recieve treatment!
I feel like you have to meet the physiological needs of a person.. comprehensive therapy anyone? I feel like thats what Jesus did anyways.. he always met the physical needs of people first and then addressed the issues in their hearts and minds.
Sorry for the rant.. I enjoyed your post, and your story too. 🙂
The way I look at it, there’s nothing in the Bible that prohibits or warns against using medication that I’m aware of. There are some who won’t either seek therapy or take medication because they are too proud to admit they have a problem or worry about how it will look to others. Humility is a virtue according to the Bible, and one could make a case that taking medication in a way is showing humility, admitting that one needs help to fix what is wrong.
Me too! I’m still conflicted because of the belief that I should just be able to muscle through it… but I’m finding so far that the medications make everything else more manageable so that I CAN help myself.
This is great 🙂 Though I do think medication could be really beneficial for me, I am way too terrified of taking medication (thanks, OCD) for it to even be an option for me. I have been lucky enough to never encounter anyone who felt that medication was a sin…but I loved the story 🙂 and sometimes I really wish 2.5 years ago when my counselor suggested I try medication that I hadn’t been so worried about the expense because back then my fear of taking medication wasn’t nearly so strong and I feel like if I’d had the meds then I could have made enough progress that I wouldn’t need them now…but live and learn I guess…
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GREAT POST! I have been struggling with this for a while. I have had terrible OCD and my family insisted on me taking medication as well as my doctors. However, I was the man drowning in the water, I was looking for a miracle. The first step to getting closer to a miracle being free of OCD and anxiety is being on medication. I believe it will help me think more rational. Thank you for this post so I can share this with my friends and family. Do you have any self help tips? I bought the book, “The OCD Workbook” I am almost to the self therapy part. I am about to start nursing school in the fall and I really want to have a CLEAR mind! I thought what better way to work on my mental health by starting this summer.
Good for you, Marah! I have lots of thoughts and advice and stories at http://www.jackieleasommers.com/OCD! I hope you’ll check the posts out!
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