Before You Rush to the Rescue, Part 1

Today's guest blogger is Linda Rice. This is Part 1 of  her blog that will continue here on Thursday. Linda counsels at Gateway Biblical Counseling and Training Center, has an M.A. in Biblical Counseling and is certified by Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. You can read her past blog posts here

You find yourself talking repeatedly to Edna, your loved one (friend or family). She professes to be a Christian. You love Edna, so frequent conversation isn’t a bad thing. What is distressing, though, is that the conversation invariably centers on her problems. She frequently cries, explaining a woeful story of why she is so depressed, or why she is so tired of conflicts with her son or husband, or how she is constantly worried that she might be attacked by another panic attack, or how____ (fill in the blank with ongoing problems). As the months go by, you notice that no matter what you say life isn’t improving for her.
You keep praying for Edna, thinking about her, and intensely desire to help her. In conversations, you urge her to do what you believe will help. You give her Bible verses. You recommend books. You recommend people she might consult. You know that her life could be so much happier. Her problems continue to dominate your conversations with her. By now, you’re at your wit’s end. What can you do?!
Let’s back up. First, thanks be to the Lord for moving you to exercise compassion toward Edna. Next, what might be hindering improvement? Perhaps your counsel has not been biblical. Perhaps you have not addressed the real problem. Has Edna not applied your counsel? Perhaps she has given up hope. Perhaps she doesn’t know how to do what you have suggested. Perhaps she isn’t truly asking for counsel. Have you considered the possibility that she is not really a Christian?
Think through these questions, and maybe some more. Meanwhile, let’s look at some basics.
Now, we have some foundation for talking to Edna. Shall we dive in? Wait! We have a bit more groundwork to lay, in the next post.