Me? A Counselor?

image_pq7jsjWith so much heartache and sin in this world, it’s sure to affect someone close to you. If you are a Christian girl who shines as a light, people will often be drawn to you for advice in their difficult life situations. Maybe a friend is depressed, anorexic, or addicted. I was 16 years old when an acquaintance of mine came up to me and said she had been raped a year earlier. What do you say to that? How do you react? I look back on that situation and wish I had been more prepared. I do not even pretend to be a professional counselor, but as a Christian woman who is now a preacher’s wife, I have to be ready to help people who come to me with hurt and sin. As young Christian girls, you should strive to prepare yourselves for when people come to you. Let’s look at Jesus, the perfect Counselor, to see how He dealt with troubled people.

Jesus was physically present for his friends.
He truly wanted to help others with their problems. When Lazarus died Jesus traveled for several days to be with Lazarus’ sisters (John 11). Being there for our friends and family when they are going through rough times does not mean we always have to have some great speech prepared. Sometimes, just being there for them and listening can be the biggest help. It shows that we care for them and are willing to take our time to listen.

Jesus understood people and their struggles.
We will not be able to understand people like Jesus did (John 2:24, 25), but we can try. We cannot clump our friends in the same mold as everyone in the world who has the same problem. Every individual is different. The Bible tells us that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). When someone comes to you, don’t just write them off or look down on them. They came to you because they needed help. This could be your opportunity to bring them to Christ.

After showing love, Jesus confronted sin.
We see this when Jesus confronted the woman caught in adultery. Jesus showed compassion and love toward her, but He made it clear that she must stop the sinful life that she was leading (John 8:11). We must show compassion and love toward friends, but we are never to act like their sin will have no consequence. If we truly want to help, we have to be clear, in a loving way, that they must do what is right.

Jesus gave Biblical advice.
You can pick up any counseling book and find advice that professionals have given. But if it does not follow God’s law, then it is no good. Jesus did not just give the advice that sounded good or was popular, but He gave advice that will lead to godliness.

We see how Jesus counseled. But I also want to be clear that if you encounter a situation that you are not able to handle, you must not keep it to yourself. If a girl comes up to you and says “I need to tell you something, but you have to promise not to tell anyone,” you need to let her know that if they or someone else will be harmed, you cannot do that.  Sometimes we are not capable of handling certain situations. We can only do our best to help them find someone more suited to help: a parent, teacher, police officer, preacher, elder, professional counselor, or whoever you think has the right resources to protect the person from further harm.

We will not always say the perfect thing. But if we follow the example of Jesus, we are doing the best we can. We must be willing and ready to help our friends in need. We could be their only way of getting, or staying in Christ!

Alicia Bookout
About Alicia Bookout 19 Articles
Alicia and her husband Garrett currently serve at the Northwest congregation in Lawton, OK. They have two children: Emma and Wesley.

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