Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ministry is Messier than Tax Advice

I have an opportunity to take an intensive Biblical Counseling course this summer.

To give counsel, not necessarily to receive counsel. But I'm noticing something.

I was thinking / hoping that being a Bible counselor would be like being a Master Tax Advisor: Someone asks me a question, I look up the applicable tax code, give an answer, the person says thank you, and on to the next question. For example: My uncle asked me how to report the sale of some collectable coins on his tax form. I told him where to put the purchase date, sale date, sale price, purchase price, etc. So I was hoping that someone would ask me a life question, I would look up the applicable Bible verse, dispense an answer, the person says thank you, and on to the next crisis.

Not so. Ministry is messy. Our family has been called to come alongside another family and do life with them. A lot more than life Q and A. We share our struggles, setbacks, clutter, and get outside of our comfort zone. That's what Bible counseling is all about really. Knowing that the Bible, and the God who authored it, has the answers to life's toughest struggles, is only the start. The Bible as a handy "reference guide" is only part of the reality of walking with Jesus. It means walking with those whom He sends to us, not just looking up an answer to a question.

So life is counseling me. I am learning what it is really like to counsel someone. It is not just learning the answers, it is about living the answers. Outside of my comfort zone in a big way, but that's what God is intending, I am sure.

1 comment:

  1. Right on.

    And that's why the "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth" thing bothers me a little: This is much more about walking with Christ and loving other than looking up passages with "the answer."