Counseling and the Christ

I stopped to inspect the neighborhood kiosk on my way home one drizzly winter evening. ''Counseling'' the poster read -- ''all your crisis needs.'' Then came a long list -- marriage, divorce, childbirth, career change, retirement, loss of spouse, and so on. ''Are any of us beyond the need of counseling these days?'' I thought. Scanning the list, it looked as if everyone might fit into at least one category.

Most professional counselors aid individuals in analyzing their difficulties and in finding the basic causes of those difficulties. The Bible, however, takes us back to the First Cause -- the only true cause -- of all being: God. Armed with a better understanding of God and our relationship to Him, we can find healing solutions to physical or personal problems.

The Christ, expressed so fully by Jesus, is the ever-present divine power that reveals our relationship to God and heals us. It was the Christ-element in Jesus that constituted the ''Counsellor'' spoken of by the prophet Isaiah in reference to the Messiah. ''For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor . . . .'' n1

n1 Isaiah 9:6.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of this wonderful healing power: ''Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness. The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, -- yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions of the senses; the Way, the Truth, and the Life, healing the sick and casting out evils, destroying sin, disease, and death. As Paul says: 'There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 382

Jesus achieved incomparable success in his healing work. Once he traveled by ship to a place called Gadara. As he stepped ashore, an insane man came up to him. This case might have seemed quite hopeless to those watching. But Jesus healed the man at once, through spiritual means alone. He then sent him home saying, ''Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee." n3

n3 Mark 5:19.

Compassion! This was something far beyond one human empathizing with another. This compassion was God's love meeting the human need. Reflecting His love, Jesus sent the man home healed -- he needed no return visits, no counseling.

Jesus' work transcended a strictly human approach to a human problem. His was the work of the healing Christ, acting through divine law, revealing the unbroken relationship of man to his creator, God. Man is actually a spiritual being -- complete, whole, pure. God and man coexist in eternal union. Christ is the divine message saying, ''Your relationship to God is indestructible and beyond harm.'' This divine power replaces chaos with order, fragmentation with unification, and tension with calm.

At one point in my life, those who loved me felt that I needed counseling. The problem involved depression, followed by fits of temper directed at family members. These attacks were infrequent, but serious enough to make others ill at ease.

I rejected the counseling idea. But the fact that others felt it was needed startled me. As I thought it through, the words ''the Christ is your counselor'' came to mind. I had been studying Jesus' teachings and works in the New Testament for some time in relation to this problem. And there had been solid progress. Jesus' words ''Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth'' n4 were particularly helpful.

n4 Matthew 5:5.

But that message ''the Christ is your counselor'' healed me. I realized I needed no other help. The attacks have not returned.

There is not an emotional, physical, or personal problem so deeply rooted that the Christ cannot reach it. It is the spirit of the Christ that does the work, and each of us can experience its healing power. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

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