Counseling OthersWe have recently looked at the need for self examination (1Corinthians 11:28-31 & 2 Corinthians 13:4) and that we should be dealing with our own problems not the problems of others (Matthew 7:5, 1Corinthians 10:13, 1Corinthians 11:31, Galatians 6:4,5 & Ephesians 4:22) and to do that the Bible tells us specifically the things we need to work on in our own lives (2Peter 1:3-10).
Then we looked how judging others is wrong, but also bad for us personally when we judge others (Matthew 7:1,2) Then we explored the Bible passages that say not only is it not our job to judge but that "no one gets away with anything" everyone will be judged for what they do, by God. (Romans 14:11,12 Revelation 20:12, and others)
We talked about that there are 14 passages in the Bible that address being judged for the things we do.
I liked this quote by the commentators Jamieson, Fausset and Brown:
"We are justified by faith, but judged according to (not by) our works. For the general judgment is primarily designed for the final vindication of God's righteousness before the whole world,..."
So there can be no doubt that we will be judged for the things we do, all of us. That means that "No one gets away with anything". So there is no reason for us to be judging others.
We have seen the need to examine the ways we think and behave, and that we should only be examining (or judging) our own acts. Of course we will never fully arrive at being non-judgemental but if we are trying not to, if we are trying to have compassion on others instead of passing judgement on them, then we might actually be able to help others.
And counseling others is the subject of this Bible study.
When someone comes to you with a problem they are having, the Bible gives us good advice:
Proverbs 18:13 If one answers a matter before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.
or, in the Good News Bible:
Listen before you answer. If you don't, you are being stupid and insulting.
James 1:19 Therefore, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.
4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(instead of answering the person before we have heard the entire problem, we should be praying. Remember Jesus has been through what the person we are listening to has AND He has the answer, while we are listening go to Him for answers)
1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has taken you but what is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation also will make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it.
(remember too that there is a "way of escape" for the person that is talking to you. They may not need you to tell them what it is, they need God to show it to them. That is what you need to pray for the person)
Ephesians 4:22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to---the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires.
4:23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new,
4:24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. GNB
(of course this advice would really help the person that is talking, but while you are listening to the person tell you their problem, this scripture is for you. Don't answer or respond to the person the way you would have before you met Jesus, respond with a new heart and mind, respond through the changes Jesus has made in your life).
Ephesians 4:22 For you ought to put off the old man (according to your way of living before) who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
4:24 And you should put on the new man, who according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
4:7 And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
4:8 Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.
4:9 Do those things which you have also learned and received and heard and seen in me. And the God of peace shall be with you.
(just because you know the answer doesn't mean you should give it to the other person, pray for direction on how to reveal God's truth to the other person. Don't let it bother you that you can so clearly see the answers to their problems. Allow God's peace to work in you, and in the other person)
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.
3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you also are called in one body, and be thankful.
3:16 Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
3:17 And everything, whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
(help in love, point the other person to Jesus)
John 16:33 I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
(remember, you know Someone that has solved this problem, who has fixed it, who has overcome it. Turn to Jesus for help.)
James 1:22 But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror.
1:24 For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like.
1:25 But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.
(in your opportunity to listen to the other person do what God's Word says. Don't rely on what you knew before you knew Jesus, remember to allow Him and His Words to guide you)
1Peter 3:8 And finally, all be of one mind, having compassion on one another, loving the brothers, tenderhearted, friendly.
3:9 Never give back evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, giving blessing, knowing that you are called to this so that you might inherit blessing.
3:10 For he that wants to love life and to see good days, let him restrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile.
3:11 Let him turn aside from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it.
3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers. But the Lord's face is against those who do evil.
When someone comes to you with a problem they are having, the Bible gives us good advice.