My Fitness

Sunday, September 10, 2017

ec and the four pillars of counseling

Equipped to Counsel (EC) is a discipleship class through my church that I am currently taking.

Today's class we discussed the 4 pillars of Biblical counseling. They are summarized as Father, Son, Holy Spirit, love. You can see these pillars displayed in Christ's answer to what is the most important commandment. Christ answers, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:36-40) And in the great commission, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20) If we are to make disciples and teach them to observe all that has been commanded, what better way to do that than to use these two greatest commandments to do so since everything falls under these two commands? What better way to counsel people than to help them develop a better life with Christ?

Slightly expounded, the 4 pillars are: 1-God is central, 2-Exalt Jesus, 3-Depend on the power of the Holy Spirit, 4-Always act in love.

I want to briefly discuss the 4th pillar.

How often I've seen well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) Christians speak the truth without any tact, gentleness, or tenderness. These Christians have told me, "Is it loving to just not say anything?" Yes. Yes, if you cannot speak the truth in gentleness, since love is gentle, then it is better to not say anything. It is not loving to go around pointing out people's sins. That's arrogance. Love is humble. You are not "just trying to help." Because the truth knows that love is patient. It isn't easily triggered. If you have wisdom then you will know when and where to say anything. Wisdom knows when to hold its tongue.

If what you are saying doesn't directly glorify God, then don't say it. Using the Bible as a hammer is an ungodly use of Scripture. Instead, seek to edify the body. Don't try to show off how smart you are and how well you know the Bible. Consider keeping your mouth shut. You can know the Bible thoroughly and not know God personally.

Consider asking questions if someone comes to you for help and instead of beating them down and showing how much holier you are than they are, be tender and kind, sympathetic and loving. Know that their struggle is real. Go away in prayer and search the Scriptures for wisdom. Someone might be gluttonous, but that might not be the sin that needs to be addressed. Wisdom will help decipher. Berating a person for their sins is not helpful. You don't see Jesus doing that. He had sympathy for the crowds. But the arrogant, self-righteous Religious Elite, he beat down.

I'd rather be known as the one Jesus had compassion on than as a Religious Elite. I'd rather be like Jesus and show compassion.

edit to add that this is not the same as "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all."  Often what is needed, godly, and holy is not going to be "nice". Ultimately it will be nice, but the perception will not necessarily be that way.

second edit (more like addendum): After writing this I read an article (also from class) about Redemptive Speaking by Paul Tripp in 1998. It's exactly what I mean and of course better articulated.  I don't want to plagiarize anything he wrote but I will encourage you to get ahold of a copy of it from The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. (The Journal of Biblical Counseling, volume 16 no3 Spring 1998)

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