When should a person go for counseling?

Mainly, the answer is "Whenever the process of sanctification in your life has slowed down significantly or has ceased, and you can't seem to get it going again." Some log-jam has interfered with the progress of putting off old sinful ways and putting on new righteous ones (sanctification). Your problem may be with yourself, your spouse, your children, your parents, another Christian. You are drifting, standing still spiritually (what is more likely), retrogressing. If you are not getting yourself out of the difficulty by repentance, confession of sin, prayer and the normal biblical channels, then it is time to tum to a counselor. A counselor's task, in part, is to break up the log-jam so as to get things flowing again.

In Galatians 6:1 Paul says that a brother who is "caught in a trespass" needs help from the outside to help extricate him from it. He needs to be "restored."* The first place to tum for help is to the elders of your church. But, as I have noted, if they are like so many---unable or unwilling to counsel---then you need to find a Nouthetic counselor.

Don't put off getting help. If you are sinking in the quicksand of life's problems, you need immediate help. If you allow too much time to pass, it will be harder on everyone – including your counselor and yourself. If you wait too long, all the counselor can get hold of is ear! This will require a rougher sort of treatment, like that to which Jude alludes when he talks about snatching people out of the fire (Jude 23). Lay your embarrassment and hesitancy aside and seek help now. God will bless you when you earnestly do so.



* An important word that means to enable him to function again as he is supposed to.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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