Most of American culture is a focus on self. Individualism, the pursuit of wealth, possessions, pleasure and a comfortable lifestyle are worthwhile goals, taking precedence over most other objectives. Counseling and guidance activities often focus on supporting these objectives, justifying why a student needs an education, or a career goal. But is there more to one’s life pursuits? Scripture screams at us that there are greater gains than possessions, pleasure or power.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (ESV) states: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following m the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in n the sons of disobedience— 3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and p were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6) and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7) so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8) For by grace you have been saved a through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
What does this all mean for a counselor? How can a Believer in Jesus interject these thoughts into a conversation? How can a counselor be the salt and light in a counselee / client’s life?
The immeasurable riches coming in the future are far greater than any temporary pleasure, possession or power attained in the here and now. Treasures stored up for an ultimate experience are worth far more than what our culture says is important. Each person is God’s workmanship, created for a work that has more significance than what our culture considers ‘normal’.
My grandfather used to say “God helps those who help themselves.” But Scripture states the opposite. God helps the helpless. All of us, no one excluded, is helpless. No one can gain power, possessions, or pleasure that will outlast himself. What is of eternal value should be top priority. The only method to attain true significance that will outlast this life if to follow the only path provided: a gift of grace through Jesus death and resurrection.