As I studied for my Masters Degree in counseling I was introduced to one theory after another on how to go about the practice of counseling. I was surprised, and confused by the many different approaches that were used in the profession to presumably achieve the same results. Healthy Minds…
I became a counselor because I wanted to help people deal with life problems and become emotionally healthy human beings. One of my classes was counseling theory and in every class meeting I was introduced to several different theories. Some of them made sense. Some didn’t make sense at all. As I got close to graduating with that piece of paper that said I was a trained counselor I was troubled because I wasn’t sure what theory of counseling would work best for me.
Then one day it clicked. I could relate to the Cognitive Behavioral approach to counseling. In a nutshell; you are what you think. You think, you have emotions, then you act on those emotions. So…If I could help a person think better, he would emote better and in turn he would develop a more healthy behavior. You are what you think.
The best part was that as a Christ-follower wanting to be Christian in my approach to counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Counseling would fit.
The writer of Hebrews wrote;
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. Heb 3:1
As a counselor, I could help people fix the way they thought, by teaching them to fix their thoughts on Jesus. Just before this verse in Hebrews the writer explains how the devil keeps us thinking thoughts that keep us disconnected from God. This messed up “devil-lead” thinking keeps us trapped in this life of separation from God. It keeps us in a condition of spiritual death.
See..when we let the devil lead our focus he directs us toward ourselves. When we are self-centered we can never be satisfied. We will always want more and be fearful of losing what we have. We were created to stay creator focused, God-centered. That’s the only way to fill the God-sized void we have in our lives.
If we have our thoughts fixed on ourselves it leads to anxiety, anger, depression and the behavior that follows those emotions. When we are focused on ourselves, there is no room for God.
When we fix our thoughts on Jesus, God gets huge, and our problems get small.
When our thoughts are fixed on Jesus, we become more like him. When are thoughts are on ourselves, we become like…
Well…. Worse than ourselves.