Today’s reading: I Timothy 6, II Timothy 1, 2, Proverbs 26
II Timothy 2:23-26 (NKJV)
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
This is a great passage from the Scriptures on Word based counseling. I have heard several opinions from great men and women of God who differ on the subject of counseling. Some are great advocates of counseling as a tool to set people free from various bondages. Others do not feel that counseling is a Biblical method of ministering freedom to people.
This passage clears that debate up for me. It is all about counseling people who are bound with the truth so they may escape the snare of the devil. This is certainly freedom. That is why I call it “freedom counseling.” I have personally witnessed scores of people being set free and transformed by simple revelation of the truth received from godly counsel. That is why Jesus said, “and you shall know the truth and the truth (you know) will set you free” – Jn. 8:32.
There are several keys from II Timothy 2:23-26 that facilitate freedom counseling. First of all avoid foolish and ignorant disputes. We cannot participate in setting people free while debating with them. Seldom do we win someone to Christ or to freedom by being adversarial. Most people who attempt to debate us are rarely after the truth, but proving they are right. The root of that is pride. Prov. 13:10 declares that “only by pride comes contention.”
Next Paul encourages Timothy to be gentle or meek when counseling others. Meekness is power and authority under control. Though we may know enough Scripture to blow people away with our superior knowledge of the Word, if we truly want to help them we must choose only to speak a word in season. That means we cannot share with people everything we know. We must wait on God for the right time and the right word if we desire to be an agent of healing and freedom for people.
The next thing is to be able to teach. If we will put the Word inside us we will be able to draw it out to give to others when needed. Then he tells us to be patient. If we really desire God to use us to set people free we must determine to make time for them and refuse the temptation to rush them. People need to know God loves them and you and I love them. If they feel uncared for they will not be as quick to hear and receive the Word.
Finally Paul tells Timothy that he is to correct those who are wrong in humility. If we want to set people free we must do the same. We must remain dependent upon the Lord, yet confident and bold about what the Word says. It is the truth spoken in love that sets people free. I am passionate about setting captives free from the snares of the enemy. Following these simple guidelines will cause all your future counseling efforts to be “freedom counseling” that liberates the captives.