Listen to the podcast
I led a biblical counseling conference in Soldotna, Alaska. During the conference, there were many questions from the attendees. I interacted with a few of the questions during the training by interweaving them into the coursework. However, there were more questions than I could answer.
Therefore, I’m extending the conference by answering a stack of questions that were given to me during the training. I brought them home and will be answering them on my Life Over Coffee Podcast.
There are two parts to this podcast:
A general theme about sharing vulnerable information
Typically, there are two things that all people have to know before they will open up…
A specific theme about this lady sharing vulnerable information
This lady is unsure if you can be trusted and if you’re competent enough to help her, plus there is the added twist of not being sure if her problems are too much for you to hear.
You have to ask yourself if her story will tempt you to sin. Here are five examples of how a person can be tempted to sin:
Are you able to steward her truth with compassion and competency?
How does sin happen?
Technically speaking her telling her story cannot contaminate you. That is not how sin contaminates us: We are drawn away by our own desires. See James 1:14-15
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death. – James 1:14-15 (ESV)
Discipleship for a situation like this is better in a church environment rather than a counseling environment:
WHERE did she get the idea that she can’t share with you?
Find out where she got the idea that her sin will contaminate you, and begin to re-envision her with compassion. (See James 1:14-15.)
WHAT is really going on with her?
Recognize what is really going on with her: specifically shame, guilt, and fear. She needs to change first at the heart (Luke 6:45), which is how we all change. She also struggles similar to all of us because she was born in Adam. Her story is not the primary thing, though it is the most traumatic thing in her life.
The Bible speaks to “all things” pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). She needs envisioning about the effectiveness of God’s Word–the truest form of psychology.
HOW to think about details
WHEN to bring more community in to help her…another advantage of the local church
If her problems have been horrendous, you will need (1) more time and (2) more people to help her, which is the beauty of the local church. Bring in the community when it is appropriate. As you know, if there is intimidation about seeing you, there will be even more fear about integrating in the community.
Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and in 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).