David Powlinson is one of the key principals in the Christian Counseling Education Foundation. He counsels and trains Christian counselors. I was reading an article recently on sanctification by him. And noted these observations:
“In my twenties I was primarily changed because failure, guilt, and disillusionment led me to turn from sin to Christ. Birth into a new life, freely-given forgiveness, and justification by faith were truths that caught fire. In my fifties I was primarily changed because darkness, loss, and suffering led me to turn in trust to my heavenly Father. God’s presence and purposes in affliction – sustaining faith, making love wiser and more helpful – were the operative truths. Different struggles and circumstances of life brought different truths into the foreground.”
He further writes:
“The Gospels largely consist of scenes selected from Jesus’ encounters and conversations with various followers, foes, inquirers, and undecided. The variety of personal details is as significant as the common themes. Watch Jesus interact, person by person, situation by situation. Notice how he notices things. Listen to the questions he asks and how he answers questioners. He rattles, invites, irritates, teaches, argues, clarifies, perplexes, saves, warns, encourages. Jesus reveals people for who they are. He precipitates decisive choices. In response to him, people change, either making a turn for the better or taking a turn for the worse.”
“The ways that Jesus meets me are analogous to the ways he meets you. Analogous, but not identical. God seems to love variety. You and I do not reduce to a category. Our Father is raising children and every child is unique.”
Powlinson, as a Christian counselor and educator of Christian counselors says, “I encourage you to ask people in your church to share about times when God really met them, so much so that their lives were changed. By listening you will grow in wisdom because you learn more about God’s ways from those stories. And in listening you will be learning how to better sound the right note, for the right person, in the right moment.”
In Christian counseling one’s role is to help facilitate change through clarity of vision, hopefully toward a more godly perspective on life through dialogue and instruction in biblical principles.