This brings me to my main point, I believe that, at the core, salvation begins with recognition. Not just a simple recognition of the fact that your sins were paid for, but a real life hit-you-in-the-face recognition of the depths of His sacrifice on the cross and a recognition that you so desperately NEED a savior. Once someone has recognized this, the rest of the salvation process should unfold pretty well. When we really take hold of how great that sacrifice was, surrendering becomes a little bit easier.
In an article I found about Christ's sacrifice, Allen Dvorak discusses the previous ways of penance for sins in that people would offer animals such as bulls as sacrifices. He then addresses the beauty of the fact that Jesus' sacrifice took care of that for us. I don't know about you, but I like the fact that I don't have to sacrifice a bull for the many sins I commit because first of all, I don't even know where I'd find a bull, and second of all, I wouldn't know the first thing about killing one. My luck, I'd mess it up and then the bull would just take me out.
How does this apply to counseling?
This section will be short because its application to counseling is pretty straight-forward. All humans are fallen and are in need of a savior. Some have yet to realize that and some have, but as we go into this field, I believe that our empathy may be stronger when we realize that we are attempting to help another fallen human who needs a savior. Also, when we have a humble view of ourselves and our need for a savior, we may become much more relatable to our clients. Better things will happen in the counseling setting (and in our own lives) when we have a real recognition of Christ's sacrifice.
My Personal Response:
My favorite part about salvation is the fact that even when i'm a COMPLETE idiot, His faithfulness is constant. I very deeply recognize my terrible shortcomings and desperate need for a savior and am forever thankful that Jesus willingly became that for me- despite me. Much of my response to this topic is already stated throughout this post so i'll end this with this picture which sums it all up pretty well: I may be a great sinner, but I have a greater savior.