Whatever happened to the cross in counseling? Are life’s issues so difficult that something other than the Scriptures are needed to address them? “The words that I speak to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63 If a troubled person is not saved, it is one of the greatest opportunities to introduce him to the message of the cross.
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” I Timothy 1:15 I have led many to Christ in the initial counseling session.
Others, who said they were Christians, find out that they never really have trusted Christ for their salvation. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27
Also, it is a marvelous opportunity to address backsliding and to exhort the counselee to “return to their first love”. Revelation 2:4-5
Counseling is a process of helping people to see their sin and their responsibility, to own it and to take it to the cross. The counselee will need to look at the past, any grievances, emotional scars from various incidents, and his loss of identity. It is the purpose of biblical counseling to rescue a person from this dungeon of darkness and bring hope and light into the myriad of situations that he/she has gotten themselves into. This can only be accomplished fully in Christ Jesus.
What a joy it is to take a broken person to the cross, seeing him find relief from his guilt and shame and love from Almighty God, no matter what they may have done in the past! As one has said, even the most monstrous sin is able to be forgiven and cleansed at the cross.
It is the nature of a season in darkness to separate one from the sense of God’s presence. In this darkness, one tends to look to solving his problems and circumstances rather than looking at his sin against God and his sin against others. It’s a spiraling abyss to get one’s needs met by circumventing the way of the cross. We all hear the cries; “If he or she would only…..”, “If I had not been mistreated by…..”, “If my wife (or my husband) would give me another chance…..”, “If I could only get them to love me…..”, “If I only had lots of money…..”, etc…
The Scripture states; “There is a way that seems right unto man but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 Take them to the cross first of all, and then you can help them deal with the circumstances and the problems while standing on solid ground. Not so self-centered, but other centered.
Whatever happened that so many find themselves blinded to the way of the cross? The cross is the remedy for feeling hopeless, dirty, guilty, and unlovable. “Just as I am Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because Thy promise I believe, O, Lamb of God, I come! I come!”
I will end by saying that a lot of healing would be experienced by bowing the knee at the cross. While at Vacation Bible School at my home church this week, I got a picture of the message and power of the cross. After the closing prayer, a precious little girl named Emily tapped me on the shoulder and said; “You didn’t bow your head.” I asked her to repeat what she had said as I wasn’t sure I heard her right. She again said; “You didn’t bow your head.” “What do you mean?”, I asked. She said; “When the preacher was praying, you didn’t bow your head.” “Oh, I’m sorry.” I said. She put her arms around my neck, kissed me and said; “That’s okay.” Certainly, irreverence toward God or any other sin toward God is a serious offense and is not ‘okay’. But what touched me was the expression of love by this little girl that was given so freely after my confession. I immediately reflected on the sacrifice of Jesus “who saved a wretch like me.” The message of the cross burst vividly in my soul once more!
Do you need someone who cares? Flee to the cross in the spirit of repentance. Jesus is there waiting to embrace you, kiss you and forgive your sins.