Think You Don’t Need a Counselor? Think Again!
The other day, I got into an argument with my wife. As usual, it was a pretty trivial spark that started a much bigger fire. If someone had run that same situation by me in the morning, I could have easily described the ideal solution. My theoretical solution would have been beneficial to my wife and me, and much more God-honoring than what actually happened. But in the moment, I was governed by my insecurities, so I blew it.
We all have so many unanswered questions about ourselves. Am I really a good person? Am I truly lovable? Why do I do the things I do? Why do I feel the way I feel? Why do I continue to make the same mistakes? Can I change? Will I ever be fully in control of all areas of my life? Why can’t I handle adversity or stress? We often struggle to answer these questions for ourselves. And it’s difficult to get to the core answers without a reliable counselor or coach who knows how to help us probe and analyze.
The combination of our arrogance and pride has kept most of us from realizing that we do need counseling. Our usual response: “Me? I don’t need any therapy, thank you very much!” And the counseling profession carries huge stigmas — mental illness, Freud, Prozac and all that. All of us need a counselor. What athlete would ever think he doesn’t need a coach anymore? Does any student ever really know it all? Your doctors continue to study and get more education, going to classes and seminars, relying on consults and guidance from experts in hard cases, until they retire. In life, the most complicated activity ever, we will never know it all. But thankfully, as Christians, we have the best counselor at our fingertips and He lives right inside us.
The Bible tells us Jesus sends us his Spirit as a Counselor. That ought to make our need very clear. And apparently, we need quite a lot of counseling—the Spirit isn’t just stopping in to give us an annual checkup or a quick tune-up. No, He has come to stay and give us a complete makeover … from the inside out. Now we just need to figure out how to “hear” His counsel and quit sabotaging His efforts in our lives. This next statement might sound blasphemous, but we need more than the Holy Spirit’s presence. That’s why we listen to sermons and study the Bible … to help us get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and so we can begin to partner with the Great Counselor. This is where a human counselor, mentor, coach, or disciple can have dramatic impact. Obviously, an earthly counselor needs to understand and help you apply the Holy Spirit’s instruction and principles.
Today, confess your sins, then talk to God about a struggle in your life. Open His word, read the Christmas and Easter stories, and then listen for His counsel. If you have trouble following the counsel, or continue to sabotage His efforts, consider getting someone to show you how to listen and follow His counsel. Whether you listen to the Counselor and apply His teaching or you act as your own counselor and continue to stumble and struggle is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, I thank You for sending me the ultimate Counselor, Your Holy Spirit. Help me recognize my daily need for advice and for the Spirit of truth. Help me listen and heed Your advice. Help me gain wisdom and courage to follow Your guidance, and humility to set aside my agenda. Thy kingdom, not my kingdom come. Give me humility to seek out and listen to Godly advisers so I can overcome my areas of struggle. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who asked You to send the ultimate Counselor, the Holy Spirit; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth” John 14:16–17
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Hebrews 4:12-14
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:29-33