Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Behind the Scenes: You are a counselor

Three things are true.
We are all counselors, we are all counseled by others, and we counsel ourselves.
We all tell at least one other person in our life what they should do or how they should think more correctly or what we have learned from our life experiences.
Not everyone is a good counselor, mind you.
Don't we all know people who have counseled us against our will ("you shouldn't be drinking coffee since you are pregnant"- must have heard that 2,000 times in 9 months).  Or people who give horrible suggestions ("just make out with someone else to make him jealous"- never heard of that not backfiring!)

At some point, people will actually pay for me to counsel them (granted I finish my degree before I die, which at this point is debatable).  But I'm amazed (and sobered)  at my opportunities to counsel formally and informally right now: my counselees through my internship, my friends, the college women who hang out at my home, my husband, my son, my mom, my sister, my hairdresser...
And it's not because I'm a counseling grad student.
It's because I'm human and made to influence and sharpen other people (Prov. 27:17).  And more importantly I've been given "everything I need for life" in God's word (2 Peter 1:3).
And if you know Jesus, you do too!

Just today, I had the opportunity to counsel myself.  Here's what I mean. I spent yesterday making no less than 15 phone calls about our broken oven- trying to get it fixed and paid for.
Today, I was making our bed and thinking about my frustration.  In order to put it in perspective, I literally said out loud to myself what I know to be true:

Everything we own belongs to God.
God cares about me and the intricate details of my life more than I even do.
God is so aware of this situation.
God works all things for the good of those who love him.

I just saved $100 not going to counseling today.  Just kidding.  The point is that Jesus defines himself as the ultimate counselor (Is. 9:6) and we have access to relationship with him through his word.  And he lovingly allows other people to help us remember the truth of his word when we can't remember it ourselves.

My charge to you is this:
How will you be able to counsel yourself or others without knowing the truth of God's word?
And how will you be able to discern if the advice that others give you is actually valuable if you don't measure it against the truth of Scripture?
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5 ESV)


  1. i love this. i've been really trying to focus on loving on and counseling other people through living out God's word. it's not always easy, but it is always rewarding. great post!

  2. Great thoughts. Thanks Lauren!

  3. Hi Lauren! so good to read your posts...agree!!! I am a counseling grad student too!! I am about to begin my Internship this Summer...well, we have a few things in common...we love God and want to serve him by comforting and counseling others, we love our family, we like lemon and lime added to our water and we love fashion!!!! Be Blessed!