There are a plethora of reasons for a person to seek counsel. First of all, whether or not we like to admit it, we all need counseling, either from a friend, a pastor, or a licensed mental health counselor, to help us gain a sharper perspective on life. At other times, we’re pressed into a counselor’s care by dire circumstances that leave us emotionally troubled. But as people who have benefited from good counsel, here are 2 simple things for us to remember when we have the privilege of giving counsel.
First, don’t leave God entirely out of the equation, and merely focus on the human soul. Providence teaches us that God is always at work around us (Psalm 121:4). No one knows the human situation as completely as He does. Thus, God was angry with Job’s friends, who, He said, didn’t speak the truth about Him to Job while he was suffering (Job 42:7). So don’t forget to consider what God is doing in a person’s life while you’re helping them.
Finally, don’t leave out the human soul, and only focus on God. To act as if a person’s experiences and feelings are unimportant is not only dangerous it’s foolish. Although our feelings shouldn’t be given control of our lives, it would be pointless to try and act as if they didn’t play an important role in our identity. Simply saying, “God is good,” doesn’t rectify the complexity of the human situation. The goodness of God, however, can be applied to the human soul, so that His goodness gives us the framework in which to heal and press onward.
Ultimately, our aim should be the glory of God and the good of whoever we may have the privilege of helping. When these 2 issues are considered in tandem, the counsel that we offer will be more helpful and less imbalanced and lopsided.