As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin. I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist.
We have all tried to control our anger or appease someone else’s with a moment of kindness—but it goes deeper. Sometimes the only way to heal what is sick or broken is to get to the source, to seek true healing, to go vertical.
Before we speak as to what God says regarding homosexuality, we need to hear from God ourselves. We need to check our own hearts. Do we enter debates to win, or in the confidence that, in Christ, we have already won?
We all do it, probably every day. It has a huge impact on the way we view ourselves and the way we respond to others. It’s one of the main reasons we experience so much conflict in our relationships. The scary thing is: we barely recognize that we’re doing it.
It is important to recognize that this process of perception, interpretation, and conclusion has a significant impact on the way people experience life. Understanding this can have a profound impact on helping people walk through difficult seasons of suffering.
Several times over the past two weeks I’ve been reminded of Mark 9:14-29, where Jesus heals the boy with the unclean spirit. There is much to digest in those 15 verses, but perhaps what has always moved me the most is the fathers cry.
One of the most consistent themes that emerges in counseling young couples is the dramatic difference between the time and money that was invested in their wedding compared to the time and money that was invested in preparing for the rest of their lives together.
So often in the Christian life, we seek to find the quick fix for the problems and pains we experience. Often we say things in an attempt to make our selves or others feel better. The reality is that we do not really know what we are saying.
In order to accurately treat a sick patient, the doctor’s first goal is to determine what is causing the unhealthy symptoms. The root of the symptoms must be revealed. This is true for our physical bodies and it’s true for our spiritual lives.
Often we start to think about what is happening to us and then start to get depressed over the lack of control we have. We start to spiral inward and imagine the worst possible scenarios increasing our despair and helplessness.
Have you ever been to someone’s home and from the minute you walk in you sense something is different? Our family went to visit some friends a while back and it made me rethink the meaning of fellowship and hospitality.
It's a comical little scene, perhaps even "cute" at first, but the theology of those words obviously stuck with me throughout my life. As I think about my life and the glory of God, I need to remind myself that this life is not my party.