PJ’s Daily Devotional for Monday, March 13, 2017.
I have the privilege to sit with people and listen. To listen to their stories: their heartache and happiness; their dreams and nightmares; their past failures and future hopes. I am a pastor and I care about God’s people.
What is my goal when I sit and listen to people? My prayerful hope for each person is their wholeness of person; their peace of mind and heart; rest for their soul; the reconciliation of their relationships.
I am not a therapist, but I diagnose and prescribe treatments. I strive to give the right kind of help to each person and to do that I need to turn to the correct source of help: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
Where a therapist has their DSM-V (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses, fifth edition), I have the Bible. When going to get help, make sure you are getting the right help from the right source.
All of my above stated goals for when I sit with people are really subpoints of the one take-home truth that truly matters in biblical counseling: every person needs Jesus to be whole. It is my firm belief that while secular counselors and other care providers can bring about circumstantial health, the only thing that can bring about transformation is the gospel of Jesus Christ. While therapy may bring about catharsis, biblical counseling brings about the freedom of true lasting change.
After years of sitting and listening, I have found that when my words go dry, there is still a deep well of wisdom in the Bible. I have experienced that when the situation presents itself with no hope, there is still reason to hope in Jesus. Over the years of the hard and messy hands-on work of helping people in their very real situations in a very real world, I have been converted to the power of God’s Word: not as a propositional truth, but as an experiential reality.
The Bible accurately diagnoses and effectively treats. We each need the right kind of help and we each can get world class care from the Wonderful Counselor and Mighty Physician. Turn to Jesus today, open His love letter to you (the Bible), and find rest for your souls. As He quiets the storm inside of you, it is my experience that you will see a new way through your circumstances. The Word of God does not return void—it illuminates the Way to peace and wholeness!
Are you getting the right kind of help in your life?