Leave me alone, I just want to be by myself. What’s the point in going on any longer? Why me? Why do I have to be the person to be treated like dirt? Why can’t I find somebody to love me? Why did God make me this way, I mean couldn’t he have made me better looking, more athletic, more funny, more likeable, more desirable? I don’t want to live any longer but I don’t have the guts to kill myself. I’m lonely, afraid, heartbroken. Why God why?! These are but a few of the statements people make when they are depressed, hurting or seeking to overcome addictions. Having gone through periods of depression myself I can relate all to well to those who feel this way. All seems hopeless, as if the circumstances of life will never change. It has become almost burdensome rather than enjoyable to live so the logical conclusion for many is to end their life to make the pain and sadness go away.
I have a deep concern for many in the church today who suffer in silence as I have done in the past. There appears to be few options that are readily available for Christians to receive sound, biblical counselling. Who should carry out Biblical counselling? The church? Parachurch organisations? If the answer is the church then who in the church? The pastor? Elders? Members of the congregation? Of all the things I would like to see become more prominent, more visible in the church is is the availability of regular biblical counselling. There is still a lot of taboo, shame and embarassment surrounding the idea of attending counselling and I believe it is one area that the local church needs to work to improve upon because there are many people out there suffering in silence and nobody should have to suffer in silence.
Thankfully I am not alone in my concern. The Christian Counselling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) is a Christian counseling and educational ministry located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who are attempting to restore Christ to counselling and counselling to the local church. They state that,
“CCEF exists to Restore Christ to Counseling. We have a passion for personal change that is centered in the person of Christ. We have seen him bring significant change to individual lives. This passion is our heritage and heartbeat, and it leads us to constantly revisit the question, “How do the riches of the Gospel impact my life and my efforts to help others?” Everything we do flows from our desire to equip Christians to live and love in a Christ-centered way.”
“CCEF also exists to Restore Counseling to the Church. We believe that the body of Christ is God’s primary context for change, the community God uses to transform his people. CCEF’s mission is to equip the church to be this kind of transforming community. We see ourselves as an extension of the local church, and we want to serve and promote its ministry.”
I highly recommend checking out the CCEF website (click on the link above) to view some of their resources but for now why not watch the two short videos below on Addictions and Depression by Dr Ed Welch, one of CCEF’s leading counsellors. If you feel you cannot talk to anybody in your local church then the CCEF website is a great place to start the healing/counselling process. You don’t have to suffer alone.