July 15, 2020

Rooted in wise counsel

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law, he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

In the wake up COVID-19, there is an enormous amount of uncertainty and apprehension for most of the world. Never before have we seen churches, schools, and businesses shut down indefinitely. Never before have we been on lockdown and quarantine for such an extended period of time.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have started to notice a gradual decline in my mental health. In addition to the tumultuous time in our country with isolation, lack of fellowship with believers, and a “new normal”, I have been working through and processing several losses in my life. With some hesitation, I decided to enlist the outside help of a professional counselor. My pastor, my church family, everyone is such an amazing support system- but sometimes we need a little outside help.

When we read through Psalms, in the very first chapter we are told that we should seek wise counsel (Psalm 1:1) What is wise counsel? Simply speaking, wise counsel is advice & assistance you get with living the Christian life. TO be effective, wise counsel (whether it comes from a Pastor, a professional therapist, or a friend) it should contain the following items:

1) The counseling you receive should confirm your faith and not contradict it. In other words, ask yourself what is being said. Is the person you are seeking wise counsel from telling you things that enhance and deepen your Christian walk through The Word of God? (Be leary and use with much prayer any type of psychological therapy which would contradict the Word of God). Modern psychology can definitely coexist with the Christian faith, you just have to approach with much prayer and discernment.

2) Confidentiality. Trust is paramount in the confines of wise counsel. In the case of a professional, they are bound by specific laws on counseling and must hold confidentiality. The person you are choosing to seek counsel from should have your best interest in mind, and this includes keeping confidentiality. In order to self-advocate, if you are talking to a friend or pastor- they may not always know it should be kept confidential. Let them know! Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered (Proverbs 11:13)

3) The counseling should challenge you to rethink negative thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s word. Professional counseling should encourage you to work toward a goal and support you in that journey. Note: This is a criteria for professional counseling, and you won’t necessarily have this from a friend or pastor, although you might.

As Christians, we need to remember that first and foremost, Christ is our saving Grace. He is the one that will ultimately pull us through anything we are dealing and suffering with. He places people in our lives to help us, but we must stay rooted in HIS WORD. We must stay grounded, and we must meditate on it daily.

In the midst of everything going on in the world, try to remember that Christ has everything under control. Feel free to leave a comment and share how you are handling the COVID-19.

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