Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 259: What I Learned About Myself this Weekend

One of the things I struggle with being a pastor is counseling. Now I am not talking the type like pre-marital or someone is having a bad day, week or month…I am talking about when a wife calls me and wants me to meet with her husband because he “messed up” and is now sleeping on the couch (or vice versa). The other type is in marriage counseling where one is coming down on the other. I have discovered something about myself this weekend that I knew was there all along but could not put my finger on why I am (in my opinion) horrible at counseling people who have messed up….I just show a lot of grace.

If I meet with a husband who dropped the ball on a poor decision (not moral failure) but just a screwed up, I find it difficult to come down on this person because I have screwed up as well in areas. If the person is truly sorry and asks for forgiveness…I am not sure there is much more to talk about. I am the type of person to tell him/her “since you have recognized it…brush yourself off and move on now.”I then proceed to talk to the person on how life is going.

For a person to come and spill the beans on what secret areas of their life they have been struggling with…the last thing I feel I need to do is tell them why they are wrong. The Apostle Paul say’s “I boast of my weaknesses.” I will tell you that if a Christian comes to me and is willing to admit they struggle with porn, drugs, poor parenting, being a less than flattering spouse, etc. I consider this person to be a VERY mature Christian. In our weaknesses we are made strong. Sadly in our culture of Christianity we have made it where someone admits to a porn problem….we cut them off. WHY? I never did get this…chances are the pastor or counselor listening to this person has his/her own things to deal with as well.

“There but for the grace of God go, I.” We say this phrase often but do we mean it? I recognize the knuckle-head I am and praise God every day for his favor and grace. This is why I am a horrible counselor…people come to me expecting to hear one thing or come down hard on their spouse…their image in my eyes doesn’t change. I consider them mature for admitting a problem and now….move on and make the changes necessary to not do it again.

2 comments:

  1. Seriously Bob.... PLEASE don't EVER stop being real!!! I thank God for His Grace and I want to be a giver of grace too and I've seen how you extend it!!! I don't want to feel that I need to act like I'm some "perfect have it all together person" just because I belong to Jesus and have to "witness"... so you, are a really good example to us Shmucks who are just messed up!! :)
    Thanks for being you... and relying on HIM.

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  2. In my years counseling people I don't think I have ever given the same advice for the same issues. People are as unique as their situations. It's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. Anger stirs up anger and the walls go up.

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