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All counseling sessions have a start and end time. Meaning, there is a season that a person is receiving counseling and then it’s over. The hope is that while the person is going through the “counseling season” (window), he will change. But this perspective is the tension that I’m bringing to you because being with a counselor (discipler) does not mean guaranteed change.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. – 2 Timothy 2:24-25
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? – 1 Corinthians 4:7
Two vital things must happen for a person to change: God must grant repentance (Primary Cause), and the individual must respond to the work that the Lord is doing in his life at that moment (Secondary Cause). The counselor in this scenario is merely a voice that shares the truths of God’s Word, but not the agent of change—no discipler has that kind of authority.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. – 1 Corinthians 3:6
The Counseling Window
Sobering Fact – Most counseling seasons do not end with long-term, effective change. The majority of all counseling sessions are watering and planting opportunities, which may position the counselee for future change. (See 1 Corinthians 3:6)
The Spheres of Responsibility and Concern
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).