At present, we are working with the light of truth presented by Dr. Francis Schaeffer from his book True Spirituality where we are discussing the basic considerations of the Christian life, or true Christianity.
All human beings, since the ‘Fall’ have experience with ‘some’ psychological challenges. It is utter nonsense, a romanticism that has nothing to do with biblical Christianity, to say that a Christian never has a psychological issue or problem. All men have psychological challenges and problems. They differ in degree and they differ in kind, but since the Fall all men have more or less a problem psychologically. And dealing with this, too, is a part of the present aspect of the gospel and of the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross.
A very practical thing for ourselves and for those whom we would help is that it is not always possible to sort out true guilt from psychological guilt. At this point the iceberg concept is a valid concept. This always was important, but today it is more important because men are thinking in this direction. We are constantly brought face-to-face with the concept of the subconscious, which is a realization that man is more than that which is on the surface. All too often the evangelical Christian acts as though there is nothing to man except that which is above the surface of the water.
Since the Fall, man is divided from himself, and so since the Fall, there is that which I am that is below the surface. We can think of it as the iceberg-one tenth above, nine -tenth below—in psychological terms, the unconscious or the subconscious. I am not to be surprised that there is something that I am that is deeper than that which is on the surface. Here I am-the iceberg. As we said previously, it is not possible to say at this given moment, “I know that I am perfect—free from all known sin.” Who can know perfectly what he knows about himself, as man now is? This is true even at our best moments, and it is double true when psychological problems and storms break over us as the surely will break over all people, including Christians. When someone comes to you in a psychological storm, and he is really torn up, it is not only unreasonable but it is also cruel to ask him, in every case, to sort out what is true guilt and what is psychological guilt.
We all have our problems, we all have our storms, but some of us can have exceedingly deep storms. In the midst of these storms that break over us, it is beautiful to know that we ourselves do not need, in every case, to sort out true guilt from psychological guilt. We are not living before a mechanical universe, and we are not living just before ourselves; we are living before the infinite-personal God. God does know the line between my true guilt and my guilt feelings. My part is to function in that which is above the surface, and to ask God to help me to be honest. My part is to cry to God for the part of the iceberg that is above the surface and confess whatever I know is true guilt there, bringing it under the infinite, finished work of Jesus Christ. It is my opinion, and the experience of many of God’s children, that when one is as honest as one can be in dealing with what is above the surface, God applies this to the whole, and gradually the Holy Spirit helps one to see deeper into himself. We may know, as the value of Christ’s death is infinite, so all the true guilt in us is covered, and the guilty feelings that remain are not true guilt, but a part of these awful miseries of fallen man; out of the historic Fall, out of the life of the race, and out of my own personal past. The comprehension, moment by moment, of these things is a vital step in freedom from the results of the bonds of sin, and in the substantial healing of the separation of man from himself.
Thoughts today quoted directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc