WHEN CALLED TO COUNSEL
(Rom 15:14) Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
There’s a lot of talk these days about counseling. There are many highly educated and trained counselors and therapists available for people in need. But in our day and age of technical skills we tend to feel intimidated by the knowledge and adeptness of others. As a result we at times cut ourselves short of how God could use us on a natural one on one level. So what makes a good counselor? What are some basics we can hold on to when we feel God has put a person in our path that is yearning for solid answers? Paul shares with the Roman Christians a few important essentials that each Christian is capable of utilizing at those opportune times:
The first one is GOODNESS. No one will listen to us if we don’t have a heart. Our knowledge can pierce like a dagger if not coupled with compassion. Look at the compassion of Christ in the gospels as He deals with individuals. His heart is always going out to hurting people. I would say most of counseling is just listening and expressing compassion. What people seem to need the most is someone to just listen and to care. Many times they walk away thanking you for helping them when you didn’t offer one piece of advice! That’s how powerful the compassion of Christ is. (Luke 7:13)
Paul also told the Romans about the importance of KNOWLEDGE. The knowledge we need is first of all in the department of wisdom. Wisdom to know when to speak up and when to be silent. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing (Job 2:13). The next kind of knowledge we need in a counseling situation is factual knowledge. This is knowledge of Scripture because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psa 111:10) and God has all the answers to our human dilemmas through the knowledge of His Word (2 Pet 1:3-4). Next we need the knowledge of experience. This is what God has taught us through the trials we have gone through that we can share with others. (2 Cor 1:3-4)
When we have a good balance of goodness and knowledge then we can ADMONISH one another. This is not verbal lashing but friendly, earnest advice or encouragement given to others. Having compassion and the Word of God in our hearts, we can now be a tool in God’s hands in touching a hurting soul and bringing them to Jesus who is the source of all help and healing.
(Isa 9:6) . . . And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.