I am taking Biblical counseling classes through my church. This was week 3 and as our Pastor put it, we have, for the last two weeks hopped onto the roller coaster and ridden over a short hill with a little blip. Last night, though... last night we climbed the "big" hill and left ourselves hanging at the top wondering just how far up did we come.
That never excites me.
Not in a "I want to do this" kind of way. I could already see the challenge - this course is going to take everything I know about how I relate to God and the world around me and make me make some decisions. Am I going to live how I say I believe?
Biblical counseling means exactly that: the Bible is all-sufficient for all of our needs. If we wonder how we are to live, what we are to do, how to deal with depression or adultery or marriage or... well... life. We look at Scripture. Nothing else is needed. Nothing. The Bible IS the final authority, the only authority. It IS the Word of God.
Last night proved this going to be one amazing roller coaster ride. Even as I type this I am still processing what I heard last night.
What I need to do, though is work through how to vocalize what I heard, share what I heard. What I heard was God speaks to us through Scripture, not in any other way. We do not "hear" God speak to us. That doesn't happen anymore. This part made perfect sense to me: We pull from Scripture, we do not read into it. What the Scripture says is what it says. A really good example of how we can "read into" Scripture is this thread:
First - the Scripture:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind: and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself. '
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Second - the "How that has been read into":
In order to love your neighbor as yourself, you must first learn to love yourself.
If you are spending your time learning to love yourself, you are spending your time focused on who? Hint: Not God.
It is far to easy, for us in our sinful nature, to make things about "me." It is often subtle and we don't realize we've done it but there it is... and there it continues to be.
As our Pastor said - this way of thinking will not make us popular, not only with non-Christians but Christians as well. As a Christian, I am constantly amazed at what I've "gotten wrong" and have to re-learn. As we grow in our understanding and confidence, it will probably become more & more apparent. For me (see - back to me) - I thought I was already "aware" of this "about me" issue and I thought I was doing a decent job at fighting it.
Boy do I have a ways to go....
Thank God I serve an amazing, brilliant, perfect, infinite and patient God. I am so unworthy but humbled and grateful beyond words. I can't wait for next week's class. I actually can't wait to do the homework!