As people of faith, are we intended to seek a counsellor or community? Are you aware that many ‘counsellors’ and/or ‘life coaches’ are highly co-dependent? I propose it is wise to take some serious time to truly know those you yield your mind and emotions to. If you are a Jesus follower then you are encouraged to glean from those who follow the Christ in his character, values and morals. Jesus’ example, which should be our guide to protocol, shows us that he requested and benefited only from God and his close friends in times of distress. Prayer was his highest means for guidance.
Now before you give secular or religious ‘professionals’ the seat of authority in your life, stop to hear what wisdom shouts to you. Watch, judge and discern their ways by discovering the fruits of their systems of counsel. Do their words match their behaviours? Since the secular world of psychology is a worldview incongruent with God’s value system we cannot expect to drink heaven’s wisdom from that well.
No doubt we all have friends or acquaintances in the field of counselling. One can simply discover the origin of when these counsellors felt the pull to help others and began walking towards attaining education in this arena. Too frequently, merciful and soft hearts pursued their careers because they themselves were struggling to heal in some area. Many, upon realizing that talking, reasoning and obsessing on others perceived problems allowed them to disassociate from themselves, entered the mental health field. But mercy towards others on the path of addiction and brokenness can never erase one’s own struggling humanity. After decades of knowing many in this profession, the gig is up. Sadly they still are very broken struggling and painfully addicted in some portion of their emotional makeup and despite valiant efforts to disassociate from their brokenness it eventually emerges with a torrent.
One can find a myriad of literature, classes, books, sermons, formulas and seminars on quick fix methods that always start with the common go-to preach on ‘forgiveness’. Some of the most addicted, obsessive and desperate personalities are hiding behind their counselling degrees. Pitifully they never get past bashing their forgiveness doctrine because as Jesus said ‘you will be like your teacher/counsellor’ and this is what is being preached in secular practices and church ministries everywhere. This unnatural fixation on forgiveness is a flashing neon sign that reflects a desperate need to receive it. Instead they project their gaze away from their own conscience by calling their listeners and clients to simply forgive. But is this all there is to such a deep process to forgiveness and reconciliation? A one magic bullet, pill popping solution – ‘just forgive’?
Not so for the Jesus follower. God’s truth is far deeper and wider than the trite slogan being touted as the latest healing modality. Humanism always dilutes offering the self-sufficient a self-abled recipe for all. But heaven’s wisdom has only one gate and one sole requirement, which is walking with the spirit of the Fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:3,4) The world’s counselling wisdom is practising cognitive dissonance meaning a divided mind and heart.
For the believer it is absurd to claim to adhere to two opposing sets of values and expect peace to result. This is not only impossible but destroys healthy structures in the brain and thus creates mental illness. And the closet addict ‘psychologist/counsellor’ living this double standard will find themself inside the perfect recipe for personal disaster. It is the nature of shame that offers them a hiding place under the guise of ‘Dr. So and So’ further locking themselves into their private storm. Since they have attained to a respected position of medical professional society, followers expect them to be somehow above failure. These labelled and adorned elite are magically dubbed near sinless and to add more temptation to their entitled status they attain to being unquestionable.
Secular humanism teaches and models that humans can independently achieve righteousness separate from Jesus Christ. The counselling ‘industry’ is but one more branch of an empirically run society flowing from religion to state. Of course this sounds ridiculous yet it’s exactly how our secular society functions. This scenario is projected onto all citizens and it is expected that all hold to this standard as being the highest and sole means of wisdom to live by. The professional education system is the top of this pyramid and completely devoid of personal accountability to anyone and certainly not to a client. Their free market exploitation is fortified by like-minded motivated clergy or associations. Should a person reject such imposing houses of lawful thought they are outcast as mentally challenged and ignorant. This matrix of intellectualism crosses back and forth, state to church and vice versa, enjoying hierarchical authority by each giving the other legitimacy. Nothing could be further from the truth of Jesus life example, as he did not seek legitimacy from any human institution.
Jesus calls us to walk openly in community humbly in truth in the light not hiding anything. Light and darkness cannot co-inhabit. This means if we claim to stand with the greatest Counsellor of all, collaborating with Him to bring healing to others, then we must be confirmed to be as He is. Our lives must be full of transparency with nothing hidden, an open book. A book anyone can approach read and interact with.
We know the unbelieving world societies depend on their own human brain with ever changing standards of philosophy and psychology in times of needing solutions. But to whom should the Jesus follower go to for ancient unwavering wisdom? Scripture teaches us that all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus and that he is the only mediator between God and man. It’s wonderful that the greatest ‘Counsellor’ lives in those who revere his majesty and supremacy. It’s a promise that when we ask for wisdom He gives liberally and that the Holy Spirit will teach, instruct, guide and counsel with correction and discipline those who truly ask for it. If our hearts hold absolutely nothing back and we can stand in purity of heart with motives bare to heaven, yet asking for heavens wise counsel, God will answer. He promises to communicate through his creation, the ancient writings from forefathers and mothers of the ages, dreams and life experience and to breathe at will through our close intimate relationships the insight we might need and seek, including correction and discipline. God is able IF we walk in honouring our covenant relationship with him to guide us into all truth. This is walking in the fear of the Lord. His morals and ethics never change and he promised to give wisdom liberally to those who seek and ask for it. (James 1:5, 6)
I love my friends who are soul healers, counsellors and psychologists, however in the scriptures it is clear that this office belongs to the Holy Spirit, the all-knowing Counsellor and the seven spirits of God. As the Spirit wills He distributes these gifts to the body of believers who love and live and have their being and function according to scripture. God has provided all we need. It is indeed our responsibility to forgive those ensnared in their addictions from both low and high society. However, this is literally the easiest and first baby step in a persevering process towards reconciliation, which requires time, humility and great grace. What is lacking but required most of all is a willingness to offer human dignity and legitimacy to those we’ve offended and to spend time, lots of time, to hear one another. To put value into the face-to-face communication of stepping into the others world. This process is absolutely free, costing a person only their pride while offering human dignity to another.
Have you ever asked, why then do people refuse to offer the humble oath of simple communication but instead turn to mediators with titles whose best interest is having returning clients to fill their pockets and egos? Perhaps the answer is that being able to depend on a counsellor feels safer. It’s a shield or covering allowing gap time in conversation to calculate excuses to justify behaviours. Additionally the worldly system of counselling love the letters and titles of educated accomplishments as if somehow this carries power for supreme wisdom and inner healing. In reality, it suggests dependence upon a complete stranger to magically know you intimately in your innermost parts and an expectation that the counsellor has the magic bullet. Worse yet this illusion is predicated on that he or she, by simply listening, can have authority to decide the moral absolutes of the recipient. All of this is the predicated by the degree displayed in the ‘Doctor’s’ title. And the psychology degrees worn and proudly wielded have absolutely no foundation in godly character but are simply intellectual. Furthermore this scenario, commonly practised in both secular and religious circles, is the very definition of co-dependence. It’s simply an educational trading floor creating a dependence upon another human being to speak for us. Those human mediators are also wrought with unresolved issues, which cause coping mechanisms as these counsellors unknowingly project their issues onto others while believing they are helping them.
The reality is facing oneself takes courage. Truth can be frightening but Jesus said: The truth will set you free. This is the unadulterated gospel, the power to save our souls. Imagine for a moment if people chose to live from the worldview of before man’s original fall. We fell with Adam headlong into intellectual ideals by reaching to eat of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. It remains the choice today. Pure and undefiled wisdom is found when we return to the original blueprint of honouring others in face to face communication just as it was back in Eden with the One who created us. This is only possible when we embrace and profess by lifestyle that God’s ways are high above his creation’s knowledge. God is wisdom and his ways are the most valuable means to wholeness. Jesus example is etched and engraved into the fabric of his followers DNA which is ‘there is therefore no mediator between God and man except Christ Jesus’ (1 Tim 2:5)
Since we are offered the intimacy of The Counsellor himself – the spirit of counsel, understanding and revelation, flowing through community and His promise of wisdom when we ask, why then practise contrary human mediation?