Christianity is far less complex than we sometimes make it seem. Christianity means, basically, to imitate Christ. So, in order to understand what it means to be a Christian, we only need to ask "Who is Jesus Christ?". A list of characteristics, of course, cannot possibly reflect who He is. However, such a list will clarify my beliefs and approach to helping individuals and families find their way.
So, who is Jesus Christ?
- Jesus spent time with sinners who knew they were sinners and were heartbroken and ashamed. Jesus also spent time with sinners who thought they were 'saints' and felt so sure that they could do it all on their own.
- He knew that there was no one righteous and loved us all.
- Jesus loved sinners but hated sin. He neither hated people who were lost nor did he shy away from showing them how lost they were.
- Jesus told the truth in love because he had a deep desire to see people set free from the bonds that hold them captive to misery.
- Jesus used creative strategies to help people understand (story telling, in the moment examples)
- When tempted, Jesus relied on the Word of God as a guide and as a shield.
- Jesus' message was one of hope. No matter what awful past someone had, Jesus made sure that they knew there was healing and restoration available for the asking.
- Jesus met people where they were. He did not wait around for people to come to the synagogue because he knew that heartbroken people tended to stay away from places they felt judged.
- Jesus loved people to the point of huge self sacrifice. He did not put qualifiers on that love.
So, what does this mean about therapy?
- You will not be judged here. I have fallen and failed many, many times just like you.
- You will not be beat over the head with the bible. The bible holds the beautiful words of our loving Father and should never be used to humiliate or punish. It is meant to be a mirror and a guide.
- I will tell you the truth....even if it hurts to hear it. I pray always to have a heart that is right with Him so that my spirit and words will be God honoring. Feel free to pray for me too!
- We will be creative in our approach. God has built us to be unique and, therefore, what helps one may not help another.
- We will find that the fruits of the spirit are promises of God that are not about our circumstances. Even if the factual reality of your life cannot be changed, living with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control changes everything!
- I will meet you where you are. There is no need to pretend here. Are you struggling with your faith? I have to. Are you struggling with forgiveness? I have to. Are you growing weary of doing good? I have to.