Lightening doesn’t strike in the same place twice.
Now, is that true, or is it an old wives’ tale? Frankly, I don’t know, but one thing is sure, if it stuck with force the first time, whatever it might strike in that location won’t be the same if and when it strikes there again!
I do know that the idea of a pattern of lightening might very well illustrate the condition of some counselees. They never learn! Proverbs 19:19 makes the point:
One who has great fury will pay the fine;
If you deliver him, you’ll have to do it again.
That’s the trouble with much counseling—it’s merely helping someone get out of a mess. But he’ll get himself back into the mess again unless you counsel otherwise.
It is absolutely essential to look for patterns. Is this present mess the only one of its kind? OK, then help him get out of it.
But, if it’s only the most recent instance of what has often happened in the past, you’ve got to do more—you’ve got to help him change his pattern of living God’s way. His way is to put off the old sinful practice—over-spending, reckless spending, for example—and, then, to help him put on a life pattern that exhibits that righteous way—in this case stewardship. The old pattern must be replaced by its biblical alternative.That takes time and coaching after repentance.
If you need a list of the put off/put ons of Scripture, you’ll find it in the index of my translation, The Christian Counselor’s New Testament/Proverbs.