Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are We Truly Helping?

After reading Effective Biblical Counseling by Dr. Larry Crab, I found myself reflecting on what I believe is the biggest issue between counseling and Christianity: are we really helping people grow closer to God by helping them find satisfaction apart from Him? I state this question very objectively, because I do believe that a trained Christian counselor should use the proven techniques of the field in counseling someone, even in a secular field where Christ is not allowed to be mentioned unless the client initiates it. This brings healing to the client's life, a healing that can lead them closer to Christ. However, it would be foolish to ignore the other argument, that by resolving the surface issues of the heart, we fail to address the ultimate issue, which is the client's eternal separation from God because they do not have faith in the Savior. Should we, as counselors in a secular field, encourage our clients to find a (seemingly) satisfying life apart from God?

The only way that I can address the issue is to use the analogy of a Christian at a restaurant, who leaves a Bible tract behind as a tip to the waitress, without actually giving her any money. Yes, if she truly received the message in the tract, then she would understand how priceless it is, and would care less about the money. However, what she will see, is a cheap Christian who does not actually care about her, or appreciate her service. Why would she see this, when the Christian attempted to give her something that could change her life? Because "people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." And I would have to ask if the Christian in this example really cared about the waitress's well being.

That is where we come in. This issue is more so about our hearts instead of our clients. Why do we counsel others? Because we care about them, and we want to help them. If true Christianity is taking care of widows and orphans, then our priority should be showing them the love of God, even if we cannot mention the name of God. After this, we need to have faith that the Holy Spirit can work in their lives, that God can bring people into their lives who can share the gospel with them. That is where our responsibility lies, and that is what we can do in obedience to God.

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