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Ultimately, you cannot mess up anyone. If you could, it would mean that you are a more powerful force in someone’s life than the Lord. Grace has broad borders, and God’s empowering favor is expansive enough overpower anyone’s sin or poor communication. You must believe this practically.
Knowing that God’s grace is more significant than all our mistakes is not a call to be sloppy in our soul care endeavors. We study hard and love well, but, ultimately, we must rest in God’s grace to prevail in a person’s life.
With that said, even the careless counselor is not more transformative in a person’s life than the grace of God.
What you must do is get underneath the hidden motives of the heart that would tempt to paralyze a person from speaking the truth. Here are some possible culprits in the counselor’s soul.
All five of the heart idolatries are interrelated, and you could even substitute some of them out, as in, they are interchangeable. I have laid them out here for you individually so you could see and interact with them since there is a slight nuance between each one.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24
To move from the heart idolatries and to the goal when discipling, the student will have to actively repent of the things that hinder her from cooperating with the Lord in the soul care of those within her sphere of influence. The straightforward “put off and put on” construct from Ephesians 4:22-24 would be as follows:
There are three reasons I cannot change, and I must discern, unpack, and resolve them in proportion to their control in my life. The reasons I am willing to do things my way rather than God’s way are anger, fear, and ignorance. Read my article on the faith killers.
If you struggle similarly to my student, I appeal to you to share this podcast, mind map, and show notes with a friend, and you both start working through these things together.
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).