Tuesday, March 04, 2008

CJ Talks About Caring for Others Using the Word...

Sovereign Grace Blog - C.J. Mahaney's View from the Cheap Seats & Other Stuff:

"Permit me to put this story on pause in order to explain why I normally draw attention to just one verse when I have the privilege of caring for someone.

This approach of focusing on one specific passage in counseling settings is one I learned from my friend David Powlison, articulated in his article “Think Globally, Act Locally.” He writes,

In a nutshell, connect one bit of Scripture to one bit of life. In other words, always ask two questions for yourself and others: What is your current struggle? What about God in Christ connects to this? … Apply one relevant thing from our Redeemer to one significant scene in this person’s story. Bring one bit of Bible to one bit of life. You can’t say it all at once. (The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Fall 2003, p. 3)

Well, you cannot and should not say it all at once, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying in the past! My impulse is to help others by downloading as much information as possible. But I’ve learned this is not wise and really unhelpful. Those we counsel can contemplate and apply a limited amount of information, so in caring for their souls—and especially in the immediate situation—I want to provide counsel they can easily consider and remember. And that’s where David’s wisdom proves so valuable.

In these situations, we must restrain the impulse to bury others under vast amounts of theological information."

(Emphasis mine. Because I thought it was important!)