Ok. I have been thinking about how many times I have heard people say (in more ways than one) how Psychology is unbiblical, unChristian, and that it should not be studied by believers. And in my head the only thing I can think is that the people who are saying these things are judging me for choosing to study Psychology as a Christian. I understand and have learned the ideas of Freud, but he is only one of hundreds of Psychologists who have made contributions to the field. So I’m going to break it down for the people who think Psychology is unbiblical and unChristian, and why it should be studied by believers.
Psychology: the science or study of the mind and behaviour
At its root, Psychology is the study of why people do the things they do. Isn’t that what God wants from us? To figure out where we’re going wrong, and change it? How are we supposed to repent if we don’t know what we’re doing wrong? Looking at yourself and asking God to show you what needs to be fixed is the difference between a person free from the bonds of sin and a person who is still in chains.
Science: [the] study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation
Psychology is a science. But we know that. What I think people don’t understand is that science is Biblical. I don’t mean that evolution or the Big Bang Theory is Biblical. I mean the study of the natural world is Biblical. And if the study of the natural world is Biblical, I’m guessing that the study of the people in the natural world is also Biblical.
Anyone who thinks about their own thoughts and behaviours is studying their Psychology (which can also be defined as: the way a person or group thinks). So if we are going with the logic that Psychology is unbiblical, then studying your own thoughts and behaviour is unbiblical.
One of my professors likes to read us a Scripture passage that connects with the topic we are studying that day. She links so many passages to Psychology (in the correct context) that I can’t accept the idea that Psychology is unbiblical.
Sure, Psychologists may have come up with some crazy ideas, but we can’t just throw out Psychology because of a few mistakes along the way. Without Psychology, people with disorders and disabilities might not get the treatment they need to function in this crazy world
Proverbs has many verses about fools who do not listen to wise counsel. In Proverbs 11:14 it says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV). Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (ESV). Counselors, therapists, and psychologists are following in Jesus’ example, and that is helping those who need it the most.
If you think about Psychology like you think about other jobs Christians have, it’s a ministry. Helping people is not a sin, and that is my goal after I graduate with my degree in Psychology. We can either choose to bring light into the darkness, or we can sit back and watch someone else do it.