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Examine all counsel in light of bible study and prayer.
Hope Family Ministries
At Hope Family Counseling/Hope Family Ministries our objectives include:
Prior to April 17, 1987, most of the advice/counsel I received was unsolicited. I continuously looked for someone to join me in feeling sorry for myself, or to agree with me that the injustices I’d experienced in life were the problem.
I saw unsolicited advice as criticism, an attack using guilt and shame. I felt that most people drew conclusions too quickly, without taking the time and effort to get to know me and understand. I knew I wasn’t blind or stupid; I could see and think. I wasn’t proud of my choices or my place in life. Wounded-ness and insecurity kept me in a defensive mode, hypersensitive to negative feedback.
I sought the sympathy of others. When people felt sorry for me, they didn’t hold me responsible for my previous choices or my present condition, which stymied positive change. The focus was on me, and my needs were never met.
My pride fed on believing I deserved a better life, because of the injustices I’d experienced. It seemed to me that the choices of others in my life took away many, almost all, of my good choices. Nothing was my fault. I was doing the best I could since all the good options were no longer available to me. I thought that coping through self-medication was the best option left to me.
Tired of being angry…
I was so tired of being angry, of failing in relationships, and living in guilt and shame. To say the least, I had lived an ill-equipped and uninformed life, with a well-worn path of self and relational destruction.
God, in His grace and mercy, caused me to understand the problem. I didn’t have peace in my life. He also helped me see my need for wise counsel.
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Proverbs 13:20 NIV)
The hard truth I had to face was that I, like many others, arrived at adulthood with unfinished business and poor skills for dealing with life. As we are growing up, God wants us to work toward completion of stages in our lives, not that we’ll never have to deal with any of them again. As we deal with problems in each stage, with guidance from adults, we hopefully develop good skills for processing life, so that, as adults ourselves, we have a sustainable foundation from which to work.
God wants our foundation to include resting in our soul about:
Him – Can He really be trusted?
Yourself – How will you determine your value and purpose?
Others – Do you have to please and appease them?
Life – How do you make decisions and measure success?
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Prov. 13:20
Rest in your soul About…
As recorded in Mathew 11:28-30, Jesus said: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
Come to Jesus…
Dr. David Jeremiah says: “One of the most gracious commands in the Bible, Jesus’ invitation to come (lit., “Come now!”), speaks to all who are oppressed by routine, monotony, overwork, responsibility, and tension. Those who are burdened endure something that is laid upon them from an outside source, causing what we would today call “burnout.” Jesus’ form of rest is not absence of work, but rejuvenation and refreshment. In Jesus’ day, taking the yoke of another meant coming under that person’s leadership and walking in that person’s footsteps. When believers take Jesus’ yoke, they place themselves under His dominion. Only then do His followers enjoy the day-by-day release from stress that God intended.” (Dr. David Jeremiah Study Bible, page 1300)
Seek wise counsel…
During the next 8 years, April 17, 1987 – May 15, 1995, I sought wise counsel. I began to read the book of Proverbs, because it states: “The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, King of Israel: for obtaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.” (Proverbs 1:1-6 NIV)
In seeking counsel from others, I looked to people who were trusted, respected and had a proven record of living in God’s favor, over a period of time. These are the benefits I have experienced as I sought wise counsel (over 32 ½ years and counting):
Because of the life changing potential, there will be plenty of reasons to avoid making and keeping an appointment, such as:
The benefits listed are healthy goals and expectations; however, they do not replace the need to examine all counsel in light of bible study and prayer. Searching for counseling that is safe, available, and affordable is the first step. While you may not anticipate personally needing counseling today, it is very comforting to know you have those relationships in place, should the need arise. Also, we invite you to help us continue to make biblical counseling available to others.
Join in Ministry…
There are a number of ways to contribute to Hope Family Counseling - Hope Family Ministries. I invite/challenge you to join!