Summary: Counseling During Human & Spiritual Crisis
Counseling During Human & Spiritual Crisis
"To work out our problems we need to add love, subtract hate, multiply good, and divide between truth and error."
Introduction - Imagine if you are faced with the loss of your family, home, and health all in the same week, what would you feel like? Add to this the fact that your precious son instigated your crisis, how would you react? Suppose that most of your former friends, colleagues and trusted supporters deserted you for someone known to be corrupt, cunning, and deceitful, what would be your reaction? These incidents are recorded for us in 2 Samuel 15:19-23 to help us learn from David’s crisis:
"And David said to his servant Ittai, "Go return to serve my son Absalom who has taken the throne. I do not know where I will go or what I will do...And the whole country wept aloud as all the people left David. Then David crossed the brook Kidron and all the people passed on toward the wilderness. And David said, "Even my own son seeks my life."
Crisis upset everything about David’s life, his identity, responsibilities, security, and relations. Somehow, David found the secret in navigating his way through the crisis of living like a fugitive Nevertheless, David turned his crisis into the most spectacular era of his life. .
As a counselor you have hundreds of case studies in the scriptures that may help you find positive and negative examples of counseling people through crisis. A crisis is a crucial time and a turning point in the course of an event. Learning how to deal with crisis is essential for growth, survival, and working with people. A counselor can distinguish the people who have succeeded in life by the way they handled crisis. We can either look at crisis as a reason for despair, depression, or discouragement or we can look at it as an opportunity from our good. Crisis usually signals a fork in the road of our decision making processes. We can either see conflicts as leading us to further crisis and defeat or we can view them as pointing us in a direction of growth. Often times, how we deal with crisis is the index of how much pain, disappointment, and dissatisfaction we have to face in life.
I. Causes of Crisis
Let us begin by looking at how help people can determine what are some of the common causes of crisis. If we are able to learn from the causes of our crisis we will be better able to alter their effects.
A. Crisis may be allowed to come into our life through the Lord’s chastening or disciplining. Hebrews 12:10 tells us that God disciplines us for our good that we may avoid evil and be drawn closer into the light of His will. There may be patterns in our life that need changing, attitudes that need adjusting, or behavior patterns that need correcting. Our heavenly Father always knows what is best. Assure your counselee of this marvelous truth.
B. Crisis may be allowed into our life to create more Godly character. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. To be poor in spirit is to realize how dependent one is on the Lord for everything. It indicates that a person is not self-sufficient in his own strengths or backgrounds. When we are "weak we are made strong through His grace." (2 Cor. 12:9)
C. Crisis to one person may only be an annoyance to another. Realize that crisis are effected by one’s emotional state, maturity, physical health, knowledge of the truth, degree of one’s faith, friends, one’s occupation, experiences, or general perspectives towards difficulties. When we are walking close to the Lord, in the power of His Spirit, and intent on His purposes we are able to cope with many crisis that tear others apart. God assures us that no temptation will be allowed into our lives that we do not have the capacity to bear. (I Cor. 10:13)
D. Crisis are the means that the devil often uses to trip us up. When the Lord allowed the devil to tempt, pester, and afflict Job, it taught Job more about the dimensions of God’s sovereignty. Job said, in Job 42:1,2 "I know that you can do all things and no purpose of your can be thwarted." When we are counseling those in distress assure them that God maintains control of the devil’s tricks. He is quickly able to come to our rescue when we call out to Him for deliverance.
E. Crisis brings out true character of all people. Some students of mine at the seminary are quick to complain about any little problem while others overlook the trivial obstacles of life. When I think of how Jesus Christ would have responded to various crisis it fills my mind with all sorts of pictures, conversations, and principles that can be brought to bear on a whole range of issues. Jesus would often refuse to engage in arguments for He knew that it would be far better to press on toward higher objectives. When the Pharisees were about to stone the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, "He who without sin cast the first stone." Instead of becoming the judge, jury, and trial lawyer, He referred to a higher truth.