Christian Counseling Notes

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I.The Possibility of Change

A. Unbridled Pessimism (Cavanaugh)

B. Exuberant Optimism (Mahoney)

C. The Balanced Truth

II.The Potential of Change: Series of Questions

A.What Are We Trying to Change?

1. The Core Personality?

2. Discovering Who We Are in Christ?

3. The Desires?

B.What Do We Change People Into?

C.By What Authority?

1.The Scriptures:

2.The Goal: Maturity; Christ-likeness

As Christian counselors, we are under the authority to encourage people to change or conform to the pattern (the behaviors and desires) of Jesus Christ.

III.The Barriers to Change

A.Apathy – Lacking Motivation (Elijah)

Elijah’s lack of motivation was directly applied to “bad believing.”

B.Lack of Sustained Commitment – Resistance to Change (Hosea)

C.Lack of Belief that Change is Possible – Victim-Orientation (Saul/Jonathan)

“My environment has been bad so I can’t change.”

D.Lack of Knowledge – Concerning what God says about change, concerning the process of change, and concerning what needs to be changed

IV.The Bible on Change

A.We Can Change.

1.Regeneration – Immediate (Based on the Resurrection)

2.Transformation – Training Process (Through the Holy Spirit and the Word)

B.What Needs to Be Changed?

1.Sin (Isaiah 1:18)

2. Pride (Revelation 3)

3.Relationships (Malachi 2)

4.Behavior (Ephesians 4:28)

5.Attitudes and Beliefs (Matthew 19)

C.Elements Central to the Process of Change

1.Other People (Galatians 6:1)

2.The Word (Romans 12:1-2)

3.The Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5; Galatians 5:16)

4.The Community of Faith (Hebrews 10:24-25)

V.Elements Requiring Attention as We Help People with the Process of Change

A.Create an environment that optimizes the potential for change (Proverbs 29:18).

B.Provide loving direction throughout sessions...
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