June 15, 2013

“In a multitude of counselors, there is safety.”  (Proverbs 24:6; 11:14)

THE TWELFTH STEP:  Seek wise spiritual counsel.

The verse quoted above is found twice in the book of Proverbs (the Bible uses repetition for emphasis.)  This proverb of the wise does not mean you should consult a multitude of counselors when you come to that fork in the road;  that would be very confusing, because a multitude of counselors could possibly give you a multitude of opinions regarding your difficult decision.

When the wise men who wrote the book of Proverbs made this statement twice, they were teaching two basic truths.  In the first one (Proverbs 24:6), they are telling us that when two nations go to war with each other, the nation with the multitude of counselors will more than likely win that war.  (That is what our Pentagon is all about.) In the other proverb (Proverbs 11:14), they are telling us that when we come to that fork in the road, if we have had a multitude of good counselors in our lifetime, in other words, a good spiritual education and spiritual mentors, we will be better equipped as we make our difficult decision as to which side of that road we should travel.

There is a beautiful passage in the prophecy of Isaiah that affirms this:

“… But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30: 20-21)

Are you making time for good Scriptural spiritual education and spiritual mentors now, so when you face a fork in the road you will hear God’s word for you?

A Formula for Living

October 10, 2012

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24 NLT)

There are about 75 different approaches counselors can use as they help people live their lives. One of these approaches tells us that living is as simple as ABCD.  The letter A represents adversity or the problem that a person may have. B represents the belief system of the person with the problem. C stands for the emotional consequences the person is experiencing because of their problem. And D describes the role of the counselor.

Because the economic downturn in America and elsewhere has put many people out of work and forced them to abandon their career, many counselors are hearing people say their adversity is that they have lost their jobs.  Since they get their worth and their identity from their work the emotional consequences for them is serious depression.

These people are saying their adversities are leading directly to their emotional consequences; however, the ABCD approach purports this is never true.  Rather, it is the way people process their adversity through their belief system that causes their irrational emotional consequences.   The basic idea is that if you have an irrational belief system, you will have irrational emotional consequences.  The therapist is a Disputer who challenges the irrational belief system of the client.

The counselor would dispute that belief system with statements like “We are not human doings but human beings.  We should not get our worth or our identity from our work.”

I like this approach for two reasons:  I hear Jesus saying the same thing in the verse above and you can use this formula to be your own best counselor.