Christian Biblical Counseling and the Charisms of the Holy Spirit
The charisms of the Holy Spirit give each individual in Christ’s Body the ability to contribute to the bettering of the Church Militant on earth. As a body, each part plays a fundamental role. Your role as a counselor is an important one. While not only guiding people to a healthy state of life, you are also spiritually guiding them to Christian principles. The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy come to my mind here. As a young boy, my catechism listed works considered by Christ to be important in
1.To Admonish the Sinner- This does not involve judgment but relates to a Christian’s obligation to give testimony to what is right or wrong.
2.To Instruct the Ignorant- This involves teaching. Ignorant does not relate to stupidity, it relates to ignorance and not knowing. The divine command to preach the gospel comes to mind here.
3.To Counsel the Doubtful- The word “counsel” is even used here. Clearly a Christian has a vocation to be a counselor in helping those in doubt and worry.
4.To Comfort the Sorrowful- One of the primary purposes of counseling is not only to help those in confusion but to help heal the broken.
The final three deal with a more personal level. The final three include praying for the living and the dead, bearing wrongs patiently, and forgiving ones enemies. I think these spiritual works are all pertinent to a good Christian Biblical counseling base because they fulfill the primary needs a counselor gives to someone. A counselor corrects bad behavior, gives instruction and advice, and comforts those in distress. In many ways, the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy are the code of any counselor.
What one can learn from these seven acts of Christian spiritual charity is that everyone is called to be a counselor in some sense. We are all called as brothers and sisters in Christ to take a personal interest in our fellow man’s need; a need that is beyond the mere physical, but a need that touches the core of one’s soul. While counselors professionally offer this service, Christians in general must offer this service in their everyday life. This is the blessing that comes with Christian counseling. It produces a twofold blessing of not only a career but also a vocation.
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