I am reading a counseling book that is reminding me again that whenever we offer counsel, (and we ALL offer counsel whether we intend to or not) our inclination is to offer a to-do list or a story from our own life or a Scripture about that issue intended to help make things better – and I am guilty of all three. These all may help in the short run, but unless we connect with God – the One True Living God – the help will be just that, short-lived.
When we reduce the solution to a list of “do this and don’t do that” we are offering short-sighted human help, things that can be accomplished in our human strength. What is actually necessary, however, is something far beyond ourselves, something with far greater power than we can muster.
I have been a counselor a long time and I would say one of the most common statements I hear in a session is, “just tell me what to do.” We want to think that the solution to the problem is within our control. If I just do this, the problem will go away. I know we all want a simple solution but that is not typically God’s way. He wants relationship with us. …that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ 1 John 1:3; God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord 1 Corinthians 1:9. Deep fellowship is not fostered by a series of steps or a list of things to do.
Personally, what counsel are you offering your own soul? Are you looking for a list of things you can do to improve your situation or are you seeking Jesus Himself in the midst of the trial?
What help are you offering others? Next time a friend comes with a problem, pause a moment and ask yourself the question, “How do I connect this person to the person of Jesus Christ in this moment?”
Jesus Himself is enough. “We believe Lord, help our unbelief.”
Be a blessing to someone today.
Diane Hunt served for 16 years on the staff of America’s Keswick until recently when she and her husband relocated to North Carolina. She now continues serving as a contributing writer and Partner Care consultant. Diane is also a Biblical Counselor, speaker, teacher, and author. She delights in the opportunities she has as a women’s conference and retreat speaker to share from God’s word. Many of her illustrations are drawn from her relational experiences as a wife, mother, and mema. They are the very relationships that bring her the greatest joy and the most fun!