THE FIFTH PILLAR: SELF-SUFFICIENCY
The fifth pillar is self-sufficiency, or self-cure. The idea is that with the help of the therapist (the fourth pillar), people are capable of solving their own problems. Here is where things get really subjective. Psychotherapists can’t agree on what constitutes “cure” for their patients/clients. They agree that the therapist is essential, but that is where agreement ends. There are two generally accepted ideas about what defines success. The first is the acquisition of what is known as “mastery”: practicing new behaviors (under the guidance of the therapist, of course), which ultimately leads to self-satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment (i.e., mastery) over problems. The second factor is that “change will last only if the patient attributes improvement to himself (as opposed to the therapist or the treatment).” [Source: The Encyclopedia of Psychology].
Let’s compare that to the claims of scripture. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states that, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” God’s solution for the problems created by man’s sinful nature is a new nature. Just because a person has that new nature is not an automatic guarantee of change; but the person who is “in Christ” has a new, supernatural resource available to aid him or her in change (what the Bible refers to as being “transformed into the image of Christ”): the Holy Spirit. There is a huge difference between relying on the Spirit and relying on one’s self under the guidance of a therapist.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4, we are informed that, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Having the infinite resources of God Himself available to us, why would any Christian choose to resort to what Paul termed “the rudiments of this world” – Colossians 2:8. He then went on to say that, “You are complete in Him [i.e., Christ], who is the head of all principality and power” (v. 10). God’s answer for the Christian is Christ alone, and not the vain speculations of fallible man.