Now, of course it isn’t easy to discover what a person knows except by putting him to the test. Today, I learned something about my partner in crime here at INS. I have been having difficulty with my email lately. What with Vista, and a bunch of other problems, it ended up that I could receive but not send messages. Some, I’m aware, would think that a boon. But I mentioned this to Donn, who immediately said that he’d take a look at it. Believe it or not—within about the same amount of time it is taking me to write this article, he had it working! How could he do it? He has what it takes!
Now, counselor, the question is—do you? Do you have what it takes to deal with marriage problems? With divorce? With church discipline? With complex theological problems? With the unexpected that is dumped on your desk?
You’d like to? Well you can. How do you think Donn learned about computers? By eating the right breakfast cereal? By chumming around with computer experts hoping he’d get what he needed through osmosis? Osmosis, remember, is the passage of a fluid or liquid through a semi-permeable membrane, the direction of the flow always being from the less dense to the more dense substance. Hardly!
Donn learned by working at it—that’s how. And that’s how you can have what it takes to counsel any and every problem that is presented to you. If you think that there’s an easier way, you’re dead wrong. It takes study, time, effort, practice and updating what you know. Don’t think that because you are successful with five problems that you’ll be successful with the sixth. When you get cocky, God may throw you a curve. Why? Because He doesn’t want you to become proud—He Himself said that pride goes before a fall. But, also, because He wants you to become a better counselor. That curve will send you back to the Book to learn more than you now do. Welcome it. Tell your counselee you’re perplexed, but that by God’s grace and his prayers, you will find out what His answer to the problem is. And then do so! That way, you will have what it takes.