Many do NOT see the importance of language. Words point us in a direction. They are NOT neutral. For biblical counselors, we are constantly redefining and renaming psychological observations and descriptions with biblical words for the heart issues behind the behaviors (like using the word “habitual” rather than “compulsive” and calling something a “sin” rather than a “disease”).
For example, the label OCD offers no hope to a counselee. While it is a valid observation of someone caught in the HABITUAL behaviors stemming from the heart issues of the love of control OR inordinate fear, OCD is a hopeless diagnosis. The only hope for OCD in the worldly sense, is medication because it is a supposed lifelong “disease” and “disorder” – Christ is NOT an answer of hope for the worldly psychologist treating this problem.
Not so for a biblical counselor. We see OCD (that is non-organic, and most cases are!) as a sin issue of the heart. A Christian counselee must confess their thoughts as sin against a holy God – sins of loving control, focusing upon self more than Christ (idolatry), sins of action stemming from inordinate fear, etc. Some think this is harsh but it is life-giving to those who know Christ because He died for our sins and enables us to have the power to overcome our sins!!!
In fact, the Bible offers practical help to overcome thoughts that lead to the description of OCD so that a believer who wants to fight it, can do so by the power of the Holy Spirit. Eph. 4:22-24 gives us one tool to overcome the description of OCD.
Biblical counselors agree with the description of OCD – same behavioral problems and problematic thought patterns are described.
However, biblical counselors DISAGREE with the prescription for OCD – proponents of psychology can only offer medications that have numerous side effects and only slow down the problem. Truly biblical counselors work with the heart and thoughts of those who struggle with OCD and watch Christ bring real hope and help to the struggling person.
OCD is a real description for hurting souls. The real prescription is found in the person of Christ and His infallible Word of Truth: the Bible. You have to use biblical words to address the problem in a hopeful way – or else there is no hope.
-Mark (thankful to the many who are battling OCD and overcoming it without medications and to the glory of God)