Before I wrote this post:
I was thinking about how Jesus would so often give answers or say things that need much deeper exploration. So often it is not a direct answer to the question being asked – but it is always what that person needs to hear. More often than not it is not a long drawn-out statement either. This is a stark contrast to all the “wordy” things that I write! It’s definitely something to learn from.
It got me thinking about counselors. Not the ones who have a job running local government, but rather those who sit and listen to people and help them work through things. I don’t know much about what it takes to be a counselor but I do know there is a lot more listening than talking. That the counselor’s job is not to solve people’s problems for them but rather to help people solve (or work through) their problems themselves. They will often reflect back and then ask a probing question. In doing so a counselor may help increase someone’s self awareness and then provide strategies to work through their issues. A Christian counselor will (hopefully) work hand-in-hand with the Holy Spirit to see what He reveals too.
So why did I connect the way Jesus often helps people with a counselor?
I was building on the idea that we only value the treasure we have to dig for. Jesus’ parables or teaching often required deep thought, prayer and meditation to understand and along with the work of the Holy Spirit we may be given new insights. The very process and act of finding a new “truth” makes us treasure it more. I was wondering if it’s similar for someone working with a counselor. In that the very act of working through something helps the person value what they find more – and take ownership.
In order to achieve this a counselor has to have a very good understanding of different people, their situations and various influences. A build up of experience will add more to this. In doing so they effectively become expert map readers (reading people, situations, cause and effect etc.) and guides (offering ways out) to help people work through things.
So, how can I help people find and grow more in their faith? In some cases what I write here might help, but definitely not all! I need to consider how I can become an expert map reader and guide. Recognizing that I need to know and read the map better so that I can direct people, but also recognizing that people need to find things for themselves and thus the way I guide someone will vary. Of course, the closer I am to the guidance of the Holy Spirit the more I can call on His most awesome map reading and guidance expertise!