- Introduction –
Here are a few things that I have heard around the corner.
- Why is he making a big deal out of that? It is only a small issue.
- He smokes and drinks. He must be a bad person
- Counselors are for those people who do not know Christ.
- Christians do not need a counselor.
- I have counseled him. I told him never to do that. But he still does not listen.
May be its time we widen our horizons. Everyone goes through problems big or small. But sometimes they might need help from outside to deal with them. Let us have a look at what counseling is all about.
- What is counseling?
There are three levels of looking at some one’s problems.
- Pity – Feeling sorry for some one
- Sympathy – Feeling sad for some one
- Empathy – Feeling what the other person feels
- Mutual Respect – The person who comes to you to share his/her problems is most likely to feel apprehensive. Any sign of disrespect will be picked up by them immediately and everything you try doing for them will backfire.
- Confidentiality and Trust – Most times people share intimate detail. We lose their trust in us when we share it with others without their consent.
- Empathy – To be able to understand what emotions the other person is going through is empathy. An example from the Bible is in Job 2:12 – 13. When Job’s friends saw him they did not just sympathize but were part of his suffering.
- Acceptance – To be able to accept the person irrespective their backgrounds, their behavior or their habits.
- Counseling in Ministry – It’s Importance
Each person’s issue is HUGE for himself. What may seem like a molehill to us can be a mountain for the person going through a crisis. As Christian leaders we are to show compassion which helps us reach out. It is human nature to get judgemental about people but as Christ could accept even a prostitute we are also expected to accept each and everyone as they are.
To reach out at the spiritual level in a person you need to pass through the emotional realm. We can make a start by applying these basic principles of Counseling.
- Personal issues