More “Counseling with Others in the Good News of Jesus” Part 1

Someone wrote me recently asking a few questions about the struggles they face trying to communicate the Gospel with others. I thought you might be interested in how I responded even as you form your own creative responses in participation with Jesus as He proclaims His Good News over others in every kind of situation! This post will only cover question number one. [Sentences have been restructured to grant anonymity and add clarity]

Question 1 “How do I help the 17-year-old who is on drugs?  My 17 year old Christian baptized niece is struggling with this issue. She really loves the music of the day. One of the songs is “*@#!, Money, and $%&^.” I am faced with dealing with youngsters smoking weed, sometimes people over drinking, as well as friends and co-workers on crack. Also I deal with young people, co-workers, friends, family, and at times church members involved in sexual immorality; fornication, adultery, pornography, and couples living together without marriage.”

My Response: In short, you ask Jesus to help you see them more clearly for who they really are in Him and that they may see it too! Then, in all of the grace The Father provides you in the Spirit, you proclaim Jesus Christ over them ANY and EVERY CHANCE you get! Remember, the Truth for us is not simply a doctrine or one statement that is better than other statements. Jesus IS literally the Truth, and in His humanity has claimed and elected every human being, and is in union with them! To proclaim Christ over others is to think of them and say to them who and what they are in Christ.

Upon greeting or leaving them you might say something like “Good to see you daughter (or son) the Father always wanted and has claimed in Jesus and the Spirit in such a way He will never let you go!”  Believe me, THAT will get you a different look from them than you have ever seen before! And it is certainly more refreshing than the same old tired refrain of “You should be doing this, and you should be doing that because God can’t bless you if you don’t, plus you’ll roast in hell for eternity!” And you say it no matter what when you meet and greet them. This Gospel is true and without condition, and they can begin to experience that Light even in their darkness!

As you speak about their troubles and struggles, you should speak out of the Gospel and say something like “Niece (or daughter, or son), or friend, it is because you are the Child the Father always wanted, I want to help see you overcome these troublesome behaviors! Is there anything I can do to help you avoid and/or fight this destructive habit or behavior? Can we talk to Jesus right now about it?”

Regardless of what they say, you can at the very least let them know that they won’t suffer or struggle through it alone, that you will stand with them through it, and that even behind-the-scenes you will be praying and struggling with them in prayer!

As far as other practical resources go, I would suggest you make them copies of one or both of these short booklets – The Secret & The Parable of the Dancing God – (perhaps reading these booklets with them!), and I am sure they will begin to identify themselves in the stories as the Gospel overflows and baptizes them in the assurance of Jesus through word and deed!

Hardly anything has helped my Church grow in their understanding of the Gospel as these booklets (which you may duplicate and hand out to others for free!) My local congregation devours them and the teenagers are even reading and being encouraged by them!

The key is that you must, in one real sense, look past even bad behavior, at first, and see them in the fundamentally correct light of who they are in Jesus, THEN you can confront them in His freedom to be FOR them even when you may have to be AGAINST them, temporarily, in order to be FOR them in the light of who they really are! Make sense?

Think of sinful behavior as mud on the face of your child. Mud definitely distorts who they are and what they look like in some way, but it does not change who they truly are! Once the mud has been cleaned off, it can be seen that fundamentally they are still who they always were, good and of the Relationally Good God Who created them. In Christ the mud has already been cleansed off of our humanity and the Holy Spirit now works with, and educates, us to believe that truth in the shared faith of Jesus until it fully manifests itself in our resurrected selves.

(Here are links to two other previous posts on this topic, if you’re interested)

~ Timothy J. Brassell

12 comments so far

  1. Jane Hinrichs on

    I so like the illustration of mud on the child’s face. That makes this whole concept so clear. Thanks.

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Jane! Yes, simple examples like “mud” can make things along this line a little more easy to understand. I heard Gospel writer Robert Capon describe it in this way and it has stuck with me ever since! You’re welcome!

  2. Jerome Ellard on

    Pastor Tim, you did it again…you magnified the Lord! (Psalm 34:3 KJV) May we all live out of that reality.

    • tjbrassell on

      Hello Jerome! Yes, may we ALL live out of that reality…my daily prayer with Jesus! Good to hear from you always my fellow Good News thinker, proclaimer and doer!

  3. I find I can evangelize anyone I love so much that I’ve begun to like them. If I see them as Papa sees them, I see someone who is worthy of my delight. Being delighted-in is a rare experience for a lot of us, and it is powerful when it happens–a context in which Papa’s delight can be fruitfully discussed. Believing in the delight is the one cure for the pain that drives us into all of our destructive behaviors.

    • tjbrassell on

      John, I am having a similar experience, and for the reasons you mentioned: Papa sharing His view of others with us through Jesus and in the Spirit in a way that really reaches us! Your point about being delighted-in is one of the reasons I try to turn as many people to Baxter Kruger’s booklets as I can. He uses the term “cherished” in a beautiful way to describe that it is more than being simply generically included in the Father, Son and Spirit relationship; it’s about being cherished and paid attention to in a distinct and personal way! Appreciate your comments as usual!

  4. Thanks for sharing your beautiful insights. Very encouraging for helping people who feel hopeless.

    • tjbrassell on

      Greetings Anne! You are welcome and thank you for your participation with Jesus in sharing His Good News with others and giving them hope – I see you and Mark poppin’ up everywhere! 🙂

  5. Carolyn Green on

    We forget how much we are loved and that he loves us all equally. None are excluded. He delights is us and we can walk in that and help others to see it. We are the son/daughter that Father has always wanted and He has included us in all His plans past, present and future. Thanks Pastor Tim, so refreshing.

    • tjbrassell on

      Yes, Carolyn – we DO so easily forget this Good News in our current state of seeing “through a glass darkly”. It is refreshing as you say and thankfully something that spans all of our times, past, present and future because of Who Jesus is! Miss and love you and your family and appreciate communicating with you still!

  6. Carolyn Green on

    We forget how much we are loved and that he loves us all equally. None are excluded. He delights is us and we can walk in that and help others to see it. We are the son/daughter that Father has always wanted and He has included us in all His plans past, present and future. Thanks Pastor Tim, so refreshing.

  7. Boyd Merriman on

    That is the first thing we do, we make sure we first listen to the person, let them talk, and then let them know who and what they are in Christ. That you cannot make God love you more, nor can you make God love you less. God loves you, that’s it, period! Now, what are you going to do with that information? 😉

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