Can you live up to biblical standards? Of course in our own human strength we fall far short. But, think about the standards you hold and find out if they are your own personal standards or biblical standards. Here are some standard questions that biblical counselors ask people who come to see them.
• Do you go to church regularly?
• Do you read the Bible regularly?
• Do you pray regularly?
Many answer yes to all of these. What could be wrong?
It is not what they prayed about; it is what they do not pray about. It is not what they read in the Bible; it is what they do not read in the Bible. The problem is not whether they attend church. It is whether they worship when they get there!
If you read the Bible and pray every day–that you will keep out of trouble is not a valid assumption. These can be rituals. Two men went up to the temple to pray. One said, “God, look at me! Is it not wonderful that You have me?” The other one said, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” They both went to the temple to pray, but who went away justified?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
What can? Your wickedness and your sin can.
You must learn and experience the truth of these Bible verses if you are to be a counselor who leads people to the fountain that will give them victory.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
None of these things can separate us from the love of God.
Can you think of somebody you do not like? If you can that is bad. Are you willing to live with it? If you are you had better look out. You might fall flat on your face one of these days. You are not alone.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man.
1 Corinthians 10:13
We are all in the same boat–the sinfulness of sin.
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Quite a statement of helplessness! But why do we do what we do?
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Living Up to Standards?
No matter what standard you set, you will not live up to it. You say the Bible’s standards are high–I am not quarreling with that. Set up your own standard. You will not live up to it. I do not know anything about you, but I know the Bible. I have no reason to change my bias because I have yet to see anyone to whom this does not apply.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Your job as a counselor is to identify specific sins in a person’s life. This is why discussion has its limitations and why agreements fail–because we cannot live up to them. At times, we keep our agreements outwardly but our hearts have departed from them. Men may say, “My wife does not have the slightest idea of what I am doing. Please do not tell her.” Those men’s hearts have departed and are so uncomfortable that they cannot rest.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
There is no peace for the wicked. Start looking for evidence of wickedness. Maybe the counselee has not robbed a bank or committed murder, but Jesus said that if you are angry at your brother, you have committed murder. What is the difference between being mildly annoyed and murder? It is a matter of degree. You just did not get mad enough.
No matter what the sin may be in the counselee’s life, they are just a repentant prayer away from being on the path of healing and hope. Rest and peace come from a life of integrity, not from a life that fights with your own values.
If you are a believer, then rest comes when you live up to the life of Christ living in you!