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Pastor of Griggs in Greenville, SC. I write about the gospel, the church, and the soul. 

Counseling You

Counseling You

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"...In the night also my heart instructs me." - Psalm 16:7

We are our own counselors and we check in for sessions constantly.

No one counsels us more than we counsel ourselves. And, sadly, many times no one counsels us more harshly than we counsel ourselves.

Talking to yourself isn't crazy, it's normal. When you're anxious (or experiencing any emotional/mental difficulty) you begin to counsel yourself and you either help or hurt. Therefore, it's important that we learn some basic counseling skills.

Let's start with empathy and encouragement.

When counseling someone, say your best friend, you listen to their problem and offer them words of empathy and encouragement. "That's awful, I'm so sorry. But you're strong, you'll bounce back."

When counseling ourselves we offer criticism, "This wouldn't happen if I wasn't so weak. I'll never get it right."

Do you see the disconnect? Imagine if you counseled someone else the way you counseled yourself. They'd be left without a stitch of hope. Perhaps that's why you sometimes feel hopeless.

One of the most repeatable phrases in the Bible is, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Moses, Jesus, Paul, and James all give us this commandment.

If you read in between the lines what are all of them assuming? That you love yourself, and that there's nothing wrong with that.

Some of us are loving our neighbor better than ourselves. We're kind to them when they're worried or hurting, but not to ourselves when we're worried or hurting. So in order to fully obey this verse we almost need to obey it in reverse and love ourselves like we love our neighbor.

Talk to yourself as you would a friend or a family member. Show yourself some empathy and encouragement. Be gracious and merciful and forgiving inwardly as well as outwardly. Be a helpful counselor to your own soul, as it is your number one client.

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