More on counseling well: raw notes on trying to help others well…
(Grabbing versus receiving; learning to plow and plant well)
Giving counsel in the right ways…
When we get to a level of spiritual parenting, we have many decisions to make. Wisdom is to know that often we will get empathetic insight, but not yet have the inner tools or wisdom and love available for the other to really bless them.
Also, there is this key issue of whether a person is ready for spiritual parenting or healing. Jesus asked the lame man: “Do you want to be healed? This is the first core question. Are you actually thirsty or just complaining about the lack of water? Or your own inability to get to the waters while their stirring? This man had to overcome 38 years of victimization–feeling like he could never get there fast enough.
Then, Jesus just comes up directly and ask him, are you really ready to be healed. Implying, are you willing to change, not just your body and situation, but your heart! At the end of this tale, Jesus challenges him to change his lifestyle. Now that your physical healing has come, are you willing to change your inner spiritual life! Jesus was always so thorough in his healing process.
This story of course has so much to teach—not only does the man have to overcome a victimzation mentality in order to say yes to Jesus; he also is told that he needs to change his lifestyle at the end of the story. Good healing story. Being able to discern if a person really wants or is ready to be healed is one aspect; the other, is do we ourselves really want to be healed, and be willing to change our lifestyles. Lots there.
Often, people need more plowing, before the seeds they need can be planted. To break down the blocks, or find the good soil behind and within them. Jesus was clear with the lame man at that healing pool (Bethesda)—“Do you really want to be healed?” was His first question. And the man himself had to overcome years of victimization to say yes! Years of not feeling like he was fast enough to get to the pools of healing. Jesus also offered Him a new way, which didn’t require the pools–a more direct way–stand up and walk! It was a risk on the man’s part, and he went for it. Then told others, and lastly Jesus challenged him to change his lifestyle. That is the pattern of healing, contained in this one story from St John!
Do you really want healing is always the first question. Then are you willing to overcome your experience to believe that it’s possible, then are you willing to stand and change your lifestyle. Nothing has changed in the healing process. And Jesus offers a higher way than the angelically stirred waters. He offers direct contact, and a challenge to overcome our lack of faith based on experience. Now, there is both overcoming the lame man’s blocks in this story, and planting new seeds of life! That is always the case with God’s healing. He both plows and plants! Not each of us is able to do both for another person, but both are necessary.
If we want to both plow and plant, then we need more equipment ourselves. To plow is unique from planting. Of course, St Paul did both, but not everyone is as gifted.
It is good to be very aware of our own issues as well—how much of me needs validation through this helping of another, and what are my particular blocks around blessings them. All these have to be constantly questioned in order to really help someone.
So I usually in prayer get insights, then feel love for a person, and then ask for His tone or orientation to deliver what He is telling them. I think He gives all of these—insight into another’s problems is not enough; we also need love, and then orientation to how God is blessings them. Then, also they have to be willing to ask for help and sit under it.
Insights, again, are not enough. I can get insights over ten people a day, but not be called to help them. Sometimes, I just release that in prayer, and thank Jesus that He is so thorough. Other times, He will give me more to seed or plant in that person or situation. It is wisdom to discern my part in another’s healing journey. If any.
In short, you have to have insight from prayer, love for the other person, and knowing what your role is in the situation. That last one would include knowing your own wounds and weaknesses, and making sure you are not doing it for yourself, or your own needs.
If I have wounds around a need for validation, or I have a self judgement about not being available to others for instance, that can cause me to “soul” things into place—in that space comes manipulations and witchcraft-or manipulating things into place. So, I must be very clear about myself in the situation as well. Why do I want to help this person, and what does it bring up in me. These are basics to mature counseling.
I myself often see into people deeply, that does not mean I am the one meant to help them. And if I do feel led to do so, it needs to be for the right heart reasons. It should be a place of meeting God, for instance; so that I too am growing through the relationship.
There are many levels of awareness required to good counseling and spiritual parenting. And we must be very humble to collaborate with Christ in this area. I’m learning it slowly and surely myself. God is always working on each of us at the same time!
There is something about us being aware of why we are helping another, and then how He is helping them through us and our gifts. That keeps it about getting to know and love and be formed by God. And less about our own gifts, or other’s needs.
Counseling others must become a part of getting to know and love and be formed by our God, of it really helps no one. Counseling others must become part of our spirituality,if not, it really isn’t useful to us or others. We must meet God through loving one another with our unique gifts.