Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How Jesus Counsels Through Relationships

When it comes to identifying gospel error and replacing it gospel truth I think of it along these lines:
1. Be a friend, someone people trust and will be honest with.
2. Listen. I mean really listen. You can only help if you have truly heard the heart pain that lies beneath the outward wound.
3. Resist the urge to speak. Instead try stopping and thinking about what they are actually sharing with you. Prayerfully ask God to help you to identify the assumptions they are living by.
4. Respond - for example: "So I'm hearing that you think that you're situation it hopeless, is this right?"
5. If they agree, respond lovingly with the good news and truth of Jesus Christ. For example: "Well I know that things feel terrible right now, and I'm not trying to minimize your pain, but Jesus tells us that no matter what struggles or pains we face He longs to lead us through. Jesus died and rose again so we can have hope in whatever circumstances we face. I've found that when I struggle with hopelessness I can draw fresh hope from Romans chapter 8, especially verses 28-39. Would you mind if I read them with you?"
6. Ask if they would mind if you pray for them and their situation. It is a very rare person who refuses to be prayed for. Pray for God to open our hearts and give us faith that we might believe Him and live by His word.


Nathan said...


Are you suggesting that this is how Jesus himself counseled, or how we can counsel people using Jesus?

I read your last post, and this one, but the title is slightly misleading.

Will and Nerida said...

Hi Nathan,
The New Testament seems pretty clear about the power of God at work in the life of the Christian. It begins by God graciously granting a person faith to turn, trust and follow Jesus Christ. This happens through the working of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation of the gospel. Sanctification continues this way also, Jesus Christ working in us and through us through the working of the Holy Spirit as we trust and follow Him. So I don't think it is misleading to state that when His followers seek to encourage, challenge, rebuke and restore others in the gospel that it is really the gracious work of the God Himself firstly in us and then through us as we share the good news with others. Does that make sense? It is quite clear from the teaching of the Apostles that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus poured out on His followers to empower them for ministry. I'm not sure what you mean by 'misleading' but sure am open to your thoughts.

Nathan said...

Misleading in that I thought it was going to be a post looking at how Jesus (the son) counseled people through relationships (ie in the flesh) - I think what you've described in the post is fine and accurate - personally I would have gone with either "how the Holy Spirit counsels" or "some tips on counseling Jesus style"... it's not a big deal.

It just didn't quite read right for me...

Nathan said...

And I guess the other way it's kin of "misleading" is that it's titled "how Jesus counsels through relationships" and followed by what looks like "how we should counsel through relationships"... without linking the title and the post (which you've done in that comment)...

Will and Nerida said...

Thanks for your thoughts Nathan. Appreciate the feedback. I guess I'm trying to balance the fact that Jesus is Sovereign and all works of grace and life change are ultimately of Him and yet He has chosen to do his work in and through His followers by the power of His indwelling Spirit. Jesus is intimately connected and united with His followers. The New Testament Apostles describe it with words like; 'united,' 'filled,' 'lead,' 'walking in,' 'new life in,' 'one with Christ' etc. This union is not just in a judicial sense but spiritually and physically. So I was trying to bring out that aspect of the gospel whilst acknowledging that it is a bit like gazing on a diamond, there are so many beautiful angles.
Bless ya brother, Will.