Proverbs 20:5 “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
I can hear the words of my mother, “Son, you already know what to do. Now do it!” She would say this because I would ask my mom what to do, when, in reality, I already knew what I was supposed to do. The reason I knew what I was supposed to do was because my parents had taught me what to do in most situations. Most of their counseling was to draw it out of my mind and heart to remind me of what I already knew.
When I was a young preacher, I often went to my pastor to get his counsel. His counseling was not so much him telling me what to do, but helping me to remember what I already knew to do. His counseling simply drew out of me what the Holy Spirit had already taught me in God’s Word.
I believe we make too much about counseling ministries in this present day of Christianity. It has become a profitable ministry for many to get people to come to them so that they can advise people to read their books that they wrote. In other instances, counselors want to become God in a person’s life to pad their conscience of how smart they think they are. Let me point out several observations about counseling and how it should help you.
First, getting counseling is not bad. I know it may sound like I am against counseling, but I am not. In fact, I believe it is wise to get counseling. The Scriptures teach that there is safety in the multitude of counseling, and you would be wise to get counsel about decisions you need to make.
Second, you already know what to do. If you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you Who guides you into all truth. The Holy Spirit often uses the understanding counselor to guide you, but you likely already know what you should do. I have found that those I counsel already know what they should do, but they just don't want to do what they know.
Third, the best counselor doesn’t tell you what to do, but they remind you of what you already know to do. I often tell people who come to me for advice that I will not make the decision for them, but I will help them to see what is the right decision. Going to a counselor and expecting them to make your decisions for you is not wise; rather, going to the counselor so they can draw out the right truth to guide you into you making the right decision is what you should want. Because you already know what you should do, you likely just need someone to help confirm what you know to do.
Fourth, counseling is simply a safeguard to let someone from the outside look at something to be sure that I am drawing from the right well for decisions. Sometimes we are blinded by the obvious, but counseling pulls you back so that you can see the obvious. An outside observation is always wise to make sure that you are going in the right direction and are not being blinded by your personal desires.
Fifth, don't waste the counselor’s time by expecting them to tell you something different from what they have already told you. Truth does not change; therefore, if your pastor or counselor has already helped you to see what you should do, they will not change what they say if you keep on coming back. Instead of wasting everyone’s time, just do what you know you are supposed to do.