A Holistic Approach to the Person?
No one person can be totally holistic in their approach to wellness and wholeness, because we are just too multi-faceted to be reduced to any set of approaches that one person or group can provide. That is why there is a Body of Christ. Only they, functioning in harmony together, have all the resource of God for holistic ministry.
Having said that, what I mean by the term is that I assume two things about healthy functioning that many others in a position to counsel others do not:
1. Spiritual issues are powerfully relevant to how we feel, act, and believe.
2. What we put in our bodies (whether food, drugs, images, ideas, or relational data) makes a difference in how healthy we are (in the broadest sense of the word).
The Bible, in various places, seems to divide the person into various categories, such as soul/body/spirit or heart/soul/mind or flesh/soul/spirit. The Greeks were more categorical about this kind of thing, but the Hebrews were much more fluid. And this because, in their anthropology, there was not a separation. What affected one part affected all the others. So, in the final analysis, how you divide them is not important insofar as we are discussing the fact that we are an integrated whole. When we talk about other issues, such as battlegrounds for our hearts and for obedience, then these distinctions are more important.
What I want to emphasize here is that what happens to the mind, or the body, most certainly affects the spirit, and what happens in the spirit has an impact on the mind, the emotions, and the body. This is not to say that they are all equal. The spirit (i.e., breath of life - Gen. 1:27) is that part of us which, unique to all creation, can relate to God. Therefore, when we have the Spirit of Christ in us, then we have access to the most powerful force in the universe to overcome anything standing against it within us (e.g., our minds, emotions, body, etc.). This is so, despite the mitigating fact that our outward man is wasting away. It will never be as whole as it will be in the resurrection, nor like our renewed spirits are now.
So, for example, there can be a relationship between depression and bearing grudges, a fact born out by secular research. Certainly, some drugs can bring relief. My concern with drugs is not primarily theological, but rather that they 1) treat only symptoms, and 2) may not be born out of a motivation to address underlying causes, either spiritually, emotionally, or even physically. So I help clients with symptoms of depression (or anxiety, etc. )by looking for root judgments, fears, and offer natural supplements and dietary suggestions that will help the body get back into stasis. I do not judge those who use psychotropic drugs.
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