A Medical Doctor’s Perspective on Sin

A Medical Doctor’s Perspective on Sin

Psychosomatic Illness

Dr. Henry Brandt shares this story from his life about his medical doctor friend:

Dr. S.I. McMillen, a much-respected and loved physician, taught the college Sunday-school class at the church we attended. He gave a series of lectures on how certain thoughts and feelings can cause pain in many parts of the body.

Dr. McMillen used some visual aids and pamphlets authored by Dr. O. Spurgeon English of Temple Medical School and sponsored by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals to illustrate his lessons.

Up to this time, I had always assumed that pain meant something was wrong with the body and that a physician would know how to fix it. The proper choice of pills or an injection will hopefully do the job. It simply never occurred to me that thoughts and feelings could affect the body.

Dr. McMillen introduced me to a new term, “psychosomatic,” which has to do with a physical disorder caused by or noticeably influenced by the emotional state of the patient.

In our book, Breaking Free from the Bondage of Sin, Dr. Brandt goes on to share:

Dr. S.I. McMillen spent many years studying Jewish and Christian writings in search of biblical principles and directions for living. As a result of this research he wrote the bestseller book None of These Diseases, which describes the physical consequences of wrong living. He pointed out that there may be sin in the picture when aches and pains show up:

Peace does not come in capsules! This is regrettable because medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60% to nearly 100%. Emotional stress can cause high blood pressure, toxic goiter, migraine headaches, arthritis, apoplexy, heart trouble, gastrointestinal ulcers, and other serious diseases too numerous to mention. As physicians we can prescribe medicine for the symptoms of these diseases, but we cannot do much for the underlying cause-emotional turmoil.

Effects of Hate

In his book, Dr. McMillen gives a masterful description of the effects of hate:

The moment I start hating a man, I become his slave. I can’t enjoy my work anymore because he even controls my thoughts. My resentments produce too many stress hormones in my body and I become fatigued after only a few hours of work. The work I formerly enjoyed is now drudgery. Even vacations cease to give me pleasure. I may be in a luxurious car that I drive along a lake fringed with the autumnal beauty of maple, oak, and birch. As far as my experience of pleasure is concerned, I might as well be driving a wagon in mud and rain.

The man I hate hounds me wherever I go. I can’t escape his tyrannical grasp on my mind. When the waiter serves me porterhouse steak with French fries, asparagus, crisp salad, and strawberry shortcake smothered with ice cream, it might as well be stale bread and water. My teeth chew the food and I swallow it, but the man I hate will not permit me to enjoy it….[Continue Reading]

Peace and Satisfaction In This World?

Peace and Satisfaction In This World?

Why are Christians not in the least embarrassed over the absence of peace and rest in their lives?

Jesus clearly tells us that it is His intention for us to move through this world peacefully and cheerfully, untroubled and unafraid as long as we look to Him to enable us. With such a resource readily available, I am overwhelmed by the absence of personal peace and by the level of misery under which Christians are willing to live. They don’t seem the least bit embarrassed or hesitant to declare:

• “I’m under stress.”

• “I’m worried.”

• “I’m so unhappy.”

• “I’m afraid.”

• “I’m pretty anxious.”

• “I’m angry!”

• “I can’t get along with him (her).”

Yet, Jesus gives clear direction when it comes to the issue of peace.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27

Christians often accept the word of secular mental health people who tell us that such conditions are socially and culturally caused and relief is to be found in the world. They are correct. Jesus Himself said you can find a kind of peace in the world. But, He also said that we should look to Him, not to the world He created. I see many Christians adopt, without thinking, a “so-what?-never-mind-what-Jesus-said” attitude and turn to the world in search of peace.

Jesus tells us that He can cause us to move through this troubled world peacefully, cheerfully, untroubled, and unafraid:

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Examine this verse. Do you believe you can experience real peace? Did Jesus say you could? What will it require for you to experience this verse? What will you do with Jesus and His words in this verse? He says you can have peace in this world by turning either to Him or to the world (your environment) that He created.

We all know that peace inside an individual is not determined by who you are with or where you happen to be. Spiritual peace has nothing to do with those things. Jesus wants to give His peace to our everyday life. Surrender your life to Him daily and walk in His peace!

**This article adapted from Heart of the Problem, by Henry Brandt and Kerry L. Skinner. © 1998.

Encouragement for the Discouraged

Encouragement for the Discouraged

Is there anyone who doesn’t need encouragement? Encouragement helps to bring the discouraged out of despair. The Scripture states,

My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28

One writer said, “Flatter me and I may not believe you. Criticize me and I may not like you. Ignore me and I may not forgive you. Encourage me and I may not forget you.”

Encouragement really is the spice of life. A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more that an hour of praise after success.

Three Key Truths About Encouragement

1. Spend time with the right people!

Maybe you are going through a discouraging time in your life and need strong encouragement from your friends. To be encouraged you must spend time with people who are like-minded; who have the same beliefs, goals, and concerns on their hearts. Don’t avoid the very people who can help you!

Many years ago, during a discouraging time in my life, I read a book by Chuck Swindoll entitled, Encourage Me. I discovered personally what Swindoll explained in his book. When you are discouraged, the weight of discouragement can literally drop your shoulders and your smile. The entire day may look dark and gloomy. For a time you may think there is no ray of hope whatsoever. But it is incredible how a word of encouragement from God, through a fellow believer, can lift your shoulders.

Swindoll said this,

Encouragement is awesome. Think about it. It has the capacity to lift a man or a woman’s shoulders, to breath fresh air into the fading embers of a smoldering dream, to actually change the coarse of another human beings day or week or life.

2. Encourage others even though you may be discouraged.

One of the best things you can do during a time of discouragement is to encourage someone else! Have you ever been discouraged and then encounter someone else only to find out that their life is much more distressed than yours? All of a sudden you have a new perspective. This is the time for you to be the encourager. The Scripture says,

I am sending him to you for this very purpose that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts.

Colossians 4:8

It’s difficult to comfort someone when you don’t know what they are facing. Take notice and respond to the people who desperately need a word of encouragement. If they have been offended,[Continue Reading]

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