Friday, March 25, 2011

What? Counseling? Me?

The following is taken from a devotion of the upcoming
Totally Devoted 2.
May you be encouraged, and may God be glorified.
"You guide me with your counsel"
Psalm 73:24

There is a stigma that comes with counseling. I call it pride. You know what I mean, when people say to each other under their breath as their eyes roll, "Oh, they are going to counseling." Often it's looked upon as a gap in our plastic armor because it exposes weakness and frailties of those who are seeking counseling --- and oh, we can't have our weaknesses exposed! "Weaknesses? What weaknesses? I'm just fine!" Ha ha, I've heard a wise and discerning Christian counselor say, "Everybody needs counseling!"
Hey! I go to counseling on a regular basis to get help, advice, wisdom, direction, insight and guidance. I need it! Just ask anyone who is close to me, they'll tell you it's true! :) I ask my Counselor --usually on my knees -- to give me insight on what is going on in my mind and in my heart and help to make it right.
The truth is people who seek wise counseling are humble and wise. They are admitting, 'we don't have all the answers' and 'we do want to grow and mature emotionally and spiritually and I need God's help!' A sound mind, the Bible calls it.
There are many kinds of counselors: reputable, licensed, professional Christian counselors who advise and pray with the clients who visit their offices; then there's the other kind who doesn't believe in the LORD as LORD; then there are close, trustworthy friends who will offer Scripturally-based, honest answers only a close friend will give; and then there are the false teachers who give us advice to suit their own agenda! But, (TA-DA!) there's the One whom the Bible calls "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God" (Isaiah 6:9) That's where I run when I need help and refreshment! I go to my counselor on a regular basis and he's always there for me!
King David went to counseling: "I will praise the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me." ( Psalm 16:7) Look at that, his counselor also watches over him.
When we go to a counselor's office, we're not going to entirely share everything on our first visit. Or maybe not even our second or 10th! It depends on how deeply rooted our trouble is! We want to guard and protect ourselves to see if this counselor really cares about us and if we can truly trust this counselor. We're going to test this counselor to see if he/she has integrity, wisdom, and compassion for us. Then, as we begin to open our hearts and a solid, healthy relationship starts to develop with our counselor the healing process sprouts up. As we begin to trust in the truth about our situation, strongholds of fear and unbelief shrivel up and die. Our counselor plants seeds of love and laughter in the place of the strongholds and we continue to blossom and grow and bear more and more fruit.
That's the way it is with our salvation. When we first become Christians, our Counselor (God) does not show us all of our faults and sins at once, He shows them to us gently with His grace and His love. He teaches and instructs our hearts. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8) He gently leads us and helps us grow up and become free to serve Him wholeheartedly, to live and love and laugh and serve others with great thanksgiving.
I believe people who seek wise counseling not only receive help but they also recieve healing! So what are we waiting for? If you're struggling go to the Wonderful Counselor and ask Him to help you and to send help! It is the humble and wise thing to do.
Love & blessings,