What Does It Mean To Be A Christian Counselor?
What Is a Christian Counselor?
Being a Christian Counselor means something different from what people may assume. It does not involve trying to convert people. It does not mean using legalism from the Bible. What it does mean is helping people see the words of Christ through your actions and thoughts. This is helpful for people of any belief system.
It is all about teaching people the concept of the love of Christ, as in the Apostle Paul’s message to the Corinthians, as interpreted by the New International Version:
1 Corinthians 13 NIV
Love Is Indispensable
1If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Paul was not referring to physical love. He was talking of the love of the spiritual, of the inclusion of our souls in the body of Christ and the overarching love of God. Regardless of human emotional and mental issues, healing always come back to a position of understanding and love.
I have used this verse to talk directly to people of no faith at all. When it comes down to emotional pain, the healing words interpreted by Paul ring true for all. Even people who demand I don’t speak of religion to them react to this verse in a positive way or, at least in a doubting way that opens the discussion as to why they are allowing harmful people to hurt them when others, on this planet (and above), still love them. By talking of the concepts expressed by Jesus, I don’t have to preach gospel. I don’t have to pressure. People may retain their skeptical view of religion but also understand their own value on this planet much better.
The last words of Paul’s message should carry weight for any belief system. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. How can you argue with that?
Far too many people of faith resemble the Pharisees, when trying to prove the value of their religious beliefs. Force does not convert. It brings about false pretense of conversion. A soft and loving approach allows people to see Christ within the counselor or any person of society. Shining the love of Christ to all, wears down the cynical nature of people in turmoil. Regardless of how difficult life may be and how damaged our minds become, the greatest healing comes from love.
Those who feel unloved need to give up more of their own love. I tell the severely-depressed that they can start the change that very day by going to the closest convenience store and being kind to the clerk behind the counter. Demonstrations of kindness are multiplied by the people receiving the expression of kindness, as are expressions of anger and hatred, when reflected upon others. Kindness---love---is the greatest of solutions to self-healing and the healing of this unkind world.