pastor`s wife, a resource article on counseling
Five Common Christian Counseling Errors
Evaluate Your Biblical Counseling Techniques
(c) 2005 Doug Britton
Note: This online Bible study borrows from some of the points in the seminar,
"How to Counsel from Scripture."
When you give advice—as a friend, counselor or pastor—it's easy to harm your effectiveness by making one (or more) of the following mistakes.
As you study, score yourself from 0 to 10 on each point.
"0" means, "I really need to improve in this area."
"10" means, "I'm doing great in this area."
Mistake #1: Giving advice without listeningOne of the biggest mistakes Christians (and others) make is giving quick counsel or advice without carefully listening. When we listen, people trust us more and we are able to give better advice.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him (Proverbs 18:17).
Make it your goal to deeply understand the other person. This is more than just being able to repeat back someone’s words. This is understanding emotions and thoughts. Ask lots of questions. "Listen" to emotions and body language, not just words.
My "listening" score (0-10): ____
Mistake #2: Showing a judgmental or condemning spirit
The person with whom you are speaking (or counseling) may have sinned in almost unthinkable ways or made serious mistakes. However, if you give the message that you are disgusted, he or she is unlikely to benefit from your advice.
Show concern for people who have sinned. They should sense that you care, not that you condemn.
Identify sin as sin, but replace anger, disgust and condemnation with sorrow and concern. Remember that your goal is to restore the other person, to help him or her change.
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:18).
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Stay humble. Remember that although you may not have committed the same sin, you have committed lots of other serious sins.
My "judgmental attitude" score (0-10): ____
Mistake #3: Talking too much
Has someone ever given you a long speech about your mistakes? If so, you probably tuned out part way through. Speeches rarely work!
When you get people involved in a discussion, they are more likely to change. Remember to ask questions. It’s often effective to ask people if they would like to make changes. If they say "yes," ask what they would like to change. When you help people work on something they identify, they are more likely to get involved.
My "talking too much score" (0-10): ____
to be continued...