Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together:
The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus.
The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is.
Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this.
In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner.
The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness.
Thanks to Andy Rowell for the reference in the critical edition: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (vol. 5 of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 115.
Why do people, even Christians, seem to prefer the run to the cultural counselor or therapy of the moment, rather than to the living God or even their brothers and sisters in Christ who will point them to the living God?