Chapter 12 of Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction by Dr. Robert Kellemen, deals with the question “Why do I do what I do?” This post is part of a series of posts blogging through this valuable counseling resource.
As counselors, our calling is to help our counselees, especially those entangled in besetting sins, to evaluate their actions and the root motivations behind their interactions.
We do not simply aim for a change in circumstances, a change in behavior, or a change in feelings. We aim for a renewed mind.
The above quotations are key to a biblical counselor’s motivation for helping others. This is foundational biblical thinking. Dr. K expands this thinking: (p.187)
We do not simply react instinctively or mechanically to input. We uniquely and creatively form our perceptions into an organized schema through which we orient ourselves to our world. This orientation provides the direction we take in life. We organize our perceptions into images and beliefs. Over time, these chosen and learned mindsets develop a habituated way of thinking that becomes formulated into a controlled framework that directs how we approach life. This consistent frame of reference is the lens through which we filter our perceptions, the eyeglasses through which we approach life.
Mindsets are the settled patterns, ruts and habits of my thought life.
So, then to affect biblical change in behavior, we must begin in the mind…the heart of not only our counselees, but ourselves. Romans 12:1,2
If the motivational structure of my heart is mature, I will purposely pursue God and what He chooses to provide because I personally perceive that He is good and great, holy and loving, sovereign and satisfying, and I experience true happiness.
If the motivational structure of my heart is immature, I will purposely pursue Satan because I am personally deceived into perceiving that God is not good and great, a Hoarder not a Rewarder, a dull Bully, and I experience the temporary pleasures of sin for a season.
So, where do you begin when you counsel? Always start with the heart.
It is in our inner rational control center that we decide what way or direction we will go, what actions we will take, and what affections we will pursue.
Our starting point must be a renewed mind.
I would encourage you to consider purchasing this valuable resource for biblical counselors. You may find it at the RPM Ministries website. This resource normally retails $39.99, it is currently available via the web through RPM for $24.99.