Posted by: Diane | February 21, 2012

Dr. Phil’s Garden

It was quite the crazy dream and as my husband and I lay in bed this morning, I was telling him the story.

I had snuck into Dr. Phil’s* apartment, which was 150 floors up – close to the clouds – and although he had no idea who I was, he cheerfully introduced me to his wife. She was wearing a pretty blue dress and high heels. She took me out to their lush, green garden and I was surrounded with magnificent beauty. However, there was no fence around the garden and she warned me that it was a 150 floor drop, straight down, if you stepped in the wrong place.  Dr. Phil and his wife had invited seventeen people for dinner.

At this point, Chris interrupted me and asked,”how many people fell over the edge of the garden?” and I quickly answered, “sixteen.” So, that left me alone to eat all the delicious food that had been prepared. I sat down beside Dr. Phil and started grilling him with questions. At one point, he got very angry and shouted, “You need to stop asking so many questions and eat your broccoli!” 

That’s when I woke up. Strange dream.

Occasionally, when I’m on my elliptical machine in the morning, I take a look to see what Dr. Phil is doing that day on his show. I like some of his answers because there are times that I hear some wise, loving and helpful advice.  However, there is something about him that makes me question his worldview. So, I decided to make some time and do some reading up on Dr. Phil.

The point is that we all need to watch and listen from a discerning distance. We all need to sift through limitless amounts of information and figure out what is truth. I,personally, am not interested in doing what Dr. Phil tells me to do – I’m sticking to biblical truth.

Dr. Phil isn’t all bad…but he isn’t all good either.  He, like other celebrity advice-givers, mix biblical and wise truth that happens to be applicable to the dilemma, with culturally acceptable instruction that’s vague enough to “feel good and seem right.”  No question – there are some nuggets of truth in his recommendations and well-meaning advice – there are times in a counselling scenario when asking, “how’s that workin’ for you?” is an excellent, thought-provoking question.

However, we all need to do our homework when it comes to decisions that affect the way we live and how we care for others. We can’t sit back and expect to be fed truth in this world – we need to seek it.  My decision to “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do” can’t have anything to do with how I feel. Christianity is not convenient and it’s not easy. It’s counter cultural – you can’t pick what you like and ignore what you don’t like.

I need to obey His complete Word. Period.

I want to know Him, for He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life – not Dr. Phil.

I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right. Isaiah 45.19 NIV

*Dr. Phil McGraw is a well-known mental health professional who uses the power of television to tell compelling stories about real people with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, stripping away the shame and embarrassment that often keep people from seeking help. He has a strong commitment to research and is assisted on his show by leading scholars and behavioral scientists.


  1. I just have to say that that is a great dream — and I love that your husband knew to ask how many people had fallen off the building.

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