In his recent blog post, Justin Taylor highlights what is missing from a secular counselor’s message and offers a compelling premise for saints to seek saints for counseling needs.
Taylor reminds us that every counselor brings a “message”: an interpretation of problems, a theory that weighs causalities and context, a proposal for cure, a goal that defines thriving humanness. How does the pastor-counselor’s or Christian counselor’s message compare with the secular counselor’s messages?
Simply consider what our culture’s other counselors do not say.
• They never mention the God who has a name: YHWH, Father, Jesus, Spirit, Almighty, Savior, Comforter.
• They never mention that God searches every heart, that every human being will bow to give final account for each thought, word, deed, choice, emotion, belief, and attitude.
• They never mention sinfulness and sin, that humankind obsessively and compulsively transgress against God.
• They never mention that suffering is meaningful within God’s purposes of mercy and judgment.
• They never mention Jesus Christ. He is a standing insult to self-esteem and self-confidence, to self-reliance, to self-salvation schemes, to self-righteousness, to believing in myself.
• They never mention that God really does forgive sins.
• They never mention that the Lord is our refuge, that it is possible to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil.
• They never mention that biological factors and personal history experiences exist within the providence and purposes of the living God, that nature and nurture locate moral responsibility but do not trump responsible intentionality.
• They never mention our propensity to return evil for evil, how hardships tempt us to grumbling, anxiety, despair, bitterness, inferiority, and escapism.
• They never mention our propensity to return evil for good, how felicities tempt us to self-trust, ingratitude, self-confidence, entitlement, presumption, superiority, and greed.
• They never mention that human beings are meant to become conscious worshipers, bowing down in deep sense of personal need, lifting up hands to receive the gifts of the body and blood of Christ, lifting voices in heartfelt song.
• They never mention that human beings are meant to live missionally, using God-given gifts to further God’s kingdom and glory.
• They never mention that the power to change does not lie within us.
In other words, they always counsel true to their core convictions.
[Illustration: Charles Schultz]