A secret to great godly counsel begins with discerning whether the gospel guides and directs the counselee’s heart.
It comes down to knowing and believing. Some folks know the gospel but don’t live according to their knowledge. They deny it by not living according to it. Check out Romans 1:21-22, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and 4:3-4, and Luke 6:46. But when a person believes the gospel, their beliefs guide and direct every part their life.
When Counseling Is Tough
Did you know that when a counselee is not working with you, the person is working against you?
Counseling becomes difficult and tedious. The counselor can become perplexed wondering why the person isn’t getting better or why the counseling has been ineffective.The counselee continually shows up for counseling but effecting change is like pulling teeth.
The reason for snail-paced spiritual growth may be that they know the gospel but do not believe it OR they may believe the gospel but fail to live in accordance with their beliefs.
Now is time to address the counselee’s desire to live for Christ.
Get a Commitment
A commitment is imperative to the counseling process. Therefore, examine whether this person is committed to living for Christ according to the following questions:
- Does this person clearly understand the goal for change? That is, to be changed into the image of Christ?
- Does this person clearly understand the process of change, including repentance and “putting off” and “putting on”?
- Have you identified the obstacles that are hindering the sanctification process? What are they? How can these obstacles be overcome? Have you and the counselee designed a biblical plan for heart change?
A committed follower of Jesus Christ is someone who not only knows the gospel but believes it and acts upon it. This person is in the process of becoming like Christ by trusting in God and practicing what is understood, because he or she knows who they are.
This is a person is grateful for what the Lord has done for him or her. (Galatians 2:16-20; Ephesians 4:1 and 5:1).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20, ESV
Counselor, remember our job is not to be “successful,” but to be faithful. As you faithfully pray for your counselees and counsel the Word to them, God ministers to their heart.
DOWNLOAD: Click here for a complimentary “Put On, Put Off” download that you can share with your counselees to help them grow in Christ. May our Lord continue to bless you, as we know He will.