HIGHLAND PARK BAPTIST CHURCH

      

“CONSIDERING COUNSELING”

I ran across an article printed in the “Sword of the Lord” paper one time. It caught my attention and is worthy of sharing. So I want to share it with you:

“SO YOU WANT TO HELP?”

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.

A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said, “I feel for you down there.” 

An OBJECTIVE person came along and said, “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”

A PHARISEE said, “Only bad people fall into pits.”

A MATHEMATICIAN calculated how he fell in the pit.

A NEWS REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on the pit.

An IRS Agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A SELF-PITYING PERSON said, “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit!”

A CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST observed, “The pit is only in your mind.”

A PSYCHOLOGIST noted, “Your mother and father are to blame for your being in the pit.”

A SELF-ESTEEM THERAPIST said, “Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit.”

An OPTIMIST said, “Things could be worse.”

A PESSIMIST claimed, “Things will get worse.”

JESUS, SEEING THE MAN, TOOK HIM BY THE HAND AND LIFTED HIM OUT OF THE PIT.

When I read the above article, I recalled a startling introduction to the “Pastoral Counseling” course in the Seminary. Bro. R.T. Perritt was the teacher. He came into the classroom the very first day, put his books on his desk, sat down and said, “This morning, I heard that someone fell into quicksand. The rescuers were discussing the best way to get them out.” Then he asked, “What do you do when someone falls into quicksand?”  Immediately, students began offering their solution.  However, Bro. Perritt shook his head and said, “No” to each suggestion. One of the students finally asked, “What would you do?” Bro. Perritt said, “Well, I’d jump in with them, of course.”

That was not the response any of us expected.  Then Bro. Perritt laughed, but said seriously, “Unfortunately, that’s what many preachers do when they are trying to help someone trapped in life’s quicksand of sin. They jump in with the one who needs help. Doing that, both are going to perish.”  His point, of course, that in order to help others, the counselor must be firmly fixed on God’s solid foundation as the old Edward Mote hymnal, “The Solid Rock”, declares, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”

Counseling is a requirement for pastors. I’m thankful for the class that taught me the principles of counseling, but more thankful for the advice Bro. Perritt gave us: “The most important One in the session is not the counselor or the parties.  It is Jesus Christ. He alone will bring the success.”

Jesse R. Spurlock

Pastor,

Highland Park Baptist Church

(08-18-19)