In my recent post, "Why the 'Correct Their Stinking Thinking' Model Doesn't Always Help," I expose the "Correct Their Bad Thinking" Model as misguided at best. Most Christians have been given the Corrective Thinking Model of helping: "This friend isn't able to heal because they've got 'stinking thinking' that's preventing it. They're not able to receive the healing because they are holding stubbornly to misguided, destructive, even faithless thoughts. It's my job to show them their bad thinking."
Response to a reader
I got a really thoughtful response to that post, asking if there might be times when that "Correct Their Thinking" Model might be helpful. After all, haven't we all heard a speaker, or read a book that helped us see ourselves differently [corrected our thinking] - exposing lies that were pinning our hearts down, or freed us to believe Jesus really did make us truly noble and good-hearted friends of his? Haven't those speakers or authors given us truth that sets us free ... by exposing bad thinking?
Here's my response to that thoughtful question:
You're absolutely right: Many times we do need a correction for our thinking. I, too, have found reading particular authors very helpful as I've discovered my new identity and worth. But God often brought those books to me when I couldn't hear it from friends. He brought the truth from those books to me when I was ready to hear, and in a way and manner tailored to me.
What I was referring to in the post was that many people use the "correct thinking model" ONLY; or at a time when the other person just isn't ready to hear it; or they hand it out like a prescription without thinking.
Yet, there may be something blocking a person's healing that isn't simply solved by telling a person, "Don't think like that."
For example, I heard a story of a woman who couldn't stop collecting teddy bears. Teddy bear plates, pillows, blankets, and more teddy bears themselves. Every corner of the house, every surface was covered with teddy bears. She had gone into counseling because she was up around 400 + teddy bears at that point and it was causing her marriage to suffer, though her husband was trying to be understanding. The woman's obsession was overrunning the house.
When her friends, who knew how to pray, sat quietly with her and asked Jesus what was going on [rather than assuming they knew what was going on], he gently revealed a memory to her. A horrible and painful one, of being a little girl and watching her father, in a fit of rage at her, rip the head off of her only teddy bear, throwing it to the floor.
Some part of that little girl's heart shattered that day.
Thankfully, her friends didn't tell her, "You shouldn't be thinking teddy bears are the solution to your pain. Stop thinking that way: It's hurting you." Instead, they asked Jesus to come into that little girl's [woman's] fearful memory and heal the terror, mending that broken place in her heart; bringing her back to safety. And it worked.
Hope that helps. You brought up a great point.