Should I give up on counselees who fail to do as they should?

No. In today's mail I received a long letter from a former counselee, who would not do anything that she should have, seeking forgiveness for her attitudes, and telling me how God had blessed and changed her by picking up the New Testament and reading it through. Even when counseling goes wrong -- whoever is at fault -- God has His way of reaching and changing his people. Don't give up -- pray for them. God doesn't give up on you, does He?

Sometimes, the answer is to institute church discipline. Jesus promised that where the process was put into effect He would be there in the midst at work (Matthew 18: 20*). How often, in response to my question, "What have you done about your problem?" I have received the following answer, "I've done everything, but Joe won't budge." In response, I say, "So, you've been to see Joe about the matter?" The answer is "Yes, but he won't listen." Then I say, "And, of course, you then took one or two other Christians with you to see Joe." Almost without fail the response to that is "Huh?" Then, I say, "You told me you had done everything, but you took the first step that Jesus set forth. You must now take the next one. Do you expect to Jesus to solve your problem when you don't follow His directions?" It is really quite common for counselees to think that they have done everything when they have merely substituted their solutions for God's.

Counselees have returned for counseling after time whom I thought I'd never have the opportunity to counsel again. The interesting thing is that when they do so, it is usually because they have finally realized the truth of what I tried to tell them. The second time, they often become willing counselees who do well, quickly! Don't give up.

* This verse has nothing to do with small prayer meetings!

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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