Reed Hendricks, a counselor in the BYU-Idaho Counseling Center, talked about overcoming the natural man during a devotional talk May 3, 2016.
Hendricks commented on how easy it is to see our flaws, all of the natural man aspects in our lives instead of our divine selves. He said it gives him hope to realize great prophets like Peter and Paul from the Bible and Nephi from the Book of Mormon all felt their humanness too. “Somehow, it gives me hope to know that even the best of the best also feel a sense of their own humanness,” he said. “This wrestling match we have with the natural man is not like playing a delightful game of Candy Crush, but rather is hand to hand combat that will stretch us to our limits.”
He has been a counselor for 33 years and said his profession has learned a lot about how to help people change their behaviors. He said to ultimately change, we must change our nature. “Psychology does not have the answer to that. God does! Changing the nature of man is His specialty.”
He said it’s only through Jesus Christ we can make lasting change in our lives. “No matter what we are trying to change or master in our lives, there is only one way, and He is that ‘way, the truth, the life.’ We are utterly dependent upon God, without whom we are ‘less than the dust of the earth.’ We access His help to overcome the natural man through increased acts of faith and obedience,” he said.
Hendricks also told the story of his father’s journey to overcoming addictions to be in the temple when Hendricks went to the temple for the first time before his mission. “God can do miracles beyond our comprehension including the creation of life and universes that cannot be numbered,” he said. “But there may be no miracle that can compare to that of the changed nature of one of His stray children.”
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Hendricks explained why he chose the topic of overcoming the natural man. “Well I just think that’s a central struggle that every member of the church, every child of God faces,” he said. “I certainly see it in my profession as a therapist here at the BYU-Idaho Counseling Center and I just felt like it would be a reasonably central and relevant topic for all of us to talk about. And frankly I certainly have been helped and blessed by revisiting those same topics in regard to improvements in my own life.”
Listen to his full devotional below. Click here to listen to his interview.