Proverbs makes a point of saying that wisdom is to be sought after. Solomon likens it to a precious jewel, something to be cherished above all other things. Furthermore in our own culture the wise are often esteemed and respected in culture. But for the Christian counselor what does it mean to be wise? How can we know if we our being wise? There seem to be so many options for every situation, how do you know how to the best one? The book of Proverbs can teach us, perhaps a few hidden things about wisdom.
A Time for Everything
First off it is important to realize that wisdom is situational. What does this mean? Simply put there is a not a clear-cut solution for every problem. You have to take people case by case. How do you know this is true? In Proverbs 26:4 Solomon says not to answer a fool according to his folly. However, in the very next verse he says to answer a fool according to his folly. What does this show us? Solomon is pointing out here that wisdom is not always a clear answer; there are different solutions for different problems. Otherwise Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, save Jesus, just contradicted himself.
Individuality in Counseling
So, how does this play out for the counselor? If you are dealing with an abuse case you must realize that you might not deal with the next abuse case the same way. You must understand your people. Seek to get to know them, and understand. Become students of them just as much as you are a student of their condition. If you are dealing with a rape victim, it does not mean that you are going to deal with the problem the same way twice. There will be a new victim with a new personality and new types of needs. It is a grievous mistake to try and rationalize every person the same way. If we consider every substances abuser to have the same needs then we have forgotten that they are human, and have simply made them an equation. People are going to be different, so you must take each case individually.
A Perfect Example
Jesus Christ is a blazing example of this for any Christian counselor. You never catch the Savior having the same formula for all the people he encountered. He is different, every time. Christ knows His flock well, and responds to them individually. He understands where Zacchaeus is coming from, or what the Pharisees needed to hear. He seeks to learn about the woman at the well, before He corrects her. What we can learn from Jesus about counseling is that everybody is different. Jesus respected a person’s individuality, and therefore could really help them. Underscoring the importance of this dynamic are Paul’s words to the Thesselonians, “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” (1 Thes 5:14). Each situation calls for a different approach. When you boil it down when you are a student of your victim, and seek to understand them, all you are doing is caring.
About the author:
Ben lives in So Cal where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He supports cooperatives like Don Rowe through his writing and loves to play music.