In class this week, we discussed the question, "How far is too far?" In essence we were wondering where the line is drawn between right and wrong and who has the authority to decide. In the counseling session, when can the counselor provide confrontation for wrong behavior?
Take the example of serial killer Antonio Rodriguez. Accused of killing three women and now with the death penalty looming before him, I doubt that he woke up one morning thinking, "I think I'll kill a woman today." However, I would not be surprised if he had first spent a great deal of time entertaining fantasies in his mind prior to acting on those inclinations. So where is the line drawn between right and wrong? Is it simply when one is caught for breaking the law or is there some higher standard?
I submit that although the line is fuzzy at times, Christian counselors can determine, to a greater capacity, what is right and wrong. Leaning on the authority of Scripture, we have clear guidance about the contents of the heart spilling over into one's actions. For example, lusting after another person may not be a crime, but is wrong. Entertaining lustful thoughts may lead to adultery, pedophilia, or sexual assault. The same applies to the Rodriguez case. The actions originate in the mind and heart of a person and it is there that the Christian counselor must be able to say, "That's wrong thinking" and then help to overcome such thinking and inclinations. Although I do not claim to have all the answers, I do believe that thought life and actions should be closely examined through the lens of Scripture and even more so in the counseling environment.