“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
The Heart of the Matter (Put On) Series is intended for use upon thoroughly working through the Put Off portion of this series. It is designed to help you facilitate a process with your counselees wherein they are given the opportunity to prayerfully examine Scripture as it pertains to divine truth concerning their beliefs, desires, and behaviors. Below is a brief explanation of each part of this series, and each handout’s purpose within the counseling process: Biblical Thoughts About My Situation and Others:
Continuing to use the heart log counselees will be instructed to identify statements on these handouts that are relevant to their current situation. These thoughts are reasoned from biblical truth, and counselees should be encouraged to dispose of deceptive thoughts (identified in the “Put Off” portion of this series), and embrace thoughts more aligned with statements on this handout. Again, dissonance may occur, and it is important to notify counselees that this is a normal part of the process. The heart’s tendency to deceive does not evaporate simply because someone begins to wage war against lies. A helpful exercise along with the Heart Log might be to have them journal why dissonance remains or why they continue to lean towards believing deception over truth. Biblical Thoughts About Self:
Unfortunately many Christians deeply embrace condemning thoughts about themselves. Such thoughts minimize the beauty of the Gospel while blinding people to their deepest identities as brought forth in the Bible. This handout provides just a few statements that are most true about your counselee (assuming he/she has placed faith in the finished work of Jesus). Work through each of these statements with your counselee. Allow them to wrestle with each statement, and have them examine why they will not (or feel they cannot) embrace these gifts from our Lord. Make sure that as they assimilate these thoughts (by God’s grace) that you make these thoughts about the kindness and love of God so that pride and self-centeredness do not sabotage the intent of this exercise. Maybe have them write prayers of gratitude to God for his amazing grace. Biblical Thoughts to Believe (in Faith) About My Situations and Others:
While my situation is challenging, God is faithful to effectively help and strengthen me (Ps. 46:1-3). There is no situation too difficult for the Lord to resolve, and I will seek to glorify him in seeking resolution. Ultimately, I will seek to trust God’s purposes in Him either resolving or not resolving this issue (1 Corinthians 10:31; Proverbs 16:9).
My situation feels like it has destroyed my life, but as long as I live I have the freedom to respond to my situation in a way that shapes and matures me so that I become more and more complete as God’s instrument of grace (James 1:1-4).
My pain influences me to feel God is absent, but that cannot true. He is actually my refuge always present to help me in difficulty. Jesus actually lives to constantly intercede for me! (Psalm 46:1; Hebrews 6:23-25)
Rejection can be extremely painful, but I have experienced it before and was able to persevere. I survived! If I feel it’s intolerable, maybe I am putting too much trust in people while not earnestly trusting God. Jesus does not condemn or reject me in this struggle, but deeply relates to and sympathizes with me in the pain of rejection (Jeremiah 17:5-9; John 19:15; Hebrews 4:15).
Disapproval can be difficult, but fearing people is a trap that destroys. Believing that I need approval from someone in order to thrive is not true. Exercising faith in God as my sufficient helper is the antidote to my fear (Proverbs 25:29; Hebrews 13:6).
People don’t necessarily cause my feelings and responses (though they do influence), but often people reveal things in my heart that I need to examine. It is nice to be noticed, but demanding it as a “must” could be revealing idolatry and deceptive desires in my heart (Colossians 3:5).
Episode Resource:Christian Counseling - Heart of the Matter Counseling Resource