Category Archives: Counseling

A “Ten Commandments” Prayer

A “Ten Commandments” Prayer

by Paul Tautges | April 17, 2018 7:01 am

Lord, please counsel us by revealing the subtle deceptions of the human heart. We pray:

1. . . . that we will have no other gods before You. That we will not dishonor Your uniqueness. That we will not put anything or anyone in Your place, nor fall prey to the schemes of the devil by replacing the ultimate priority (You) with worldly pleasures, possessions, power, or pursuits (1 Jn 2:15–17). That the use of our time and energy will reflect the Lordship of Christ and that our souls will pant and thirst for You, O God, (Ps 42:1, 2).

2. . . . that we will not provoke Your jealousy by worshiping You through things seen, felt, or touched. That we will not dishonor Your nature as a Spirit being. That we will not get caught up in the elements of worship at the expense of the Person being worshipped. That we will worship You in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and “see” You as exalted and, therefore, get caught up in “worth-ship.” That we will not place our faith in human reason or things seen, but instead walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

3. . . . that we will not use Your holy Name carelessly. That we will not dishonor Your character. That we will not misrepresent You by using Your Name falsely (Ps 24:3, 4), hypocritically (Titus 1:16), blasphemously (James 2:7), rashly (Eccl 5:2, 3), or irreverently (James 3:8–11), or speak of holy things flippantly. That our talk will not be dominated by meaningless, empty or idle words (Matt 12:36), but always by reverence and prudence.

4. . . . that we will follow your creation principle of rest. That we will honor Your wisdom. That we will not allow the American “rat race” to rob us of stopping to look at the sunset (Ps 24:1). That You will help us to be diligent and faithful workers, but at the same time guard us from becoming slaves to our earthly employments (Col 3:22–24). That we will not allow busyness and worldly pleasures to destroy the immense worth and uniqueness of the Lord’s Day. That corporate worship will be more important than hunting, fishing, or football. That we will realize the most valuable family time is not spent in front of the TV, but in Your house learning Your Word (Acts 20:7).

5. . . . that we will show reverence and respect for our earthly parents. That we will honor Your authority structures. That we will not be like the world—disobedient to parents (2 Tim 3:2), but instead will teach our children to cheerfully obey, with respect. That we will not forget our elderly parents and grandparents, but will gladly accept the role-reversal of becoming their caregivers (1 Tim 5:3, 4). That we will recognize earthly parents as gifts to be honored and treasured, but not more than Christ (Matt 10:37). That we will learn to be submissive and respectful toward the authorities You have ordained (Rom 13:1–7), while at the same time faithfully praying for our leaders (1 Tim 2:1–4).

6. . . . that we will not hate or kill. That we will not dishonor Your gift of life or Your love. That we will not allow the sun to go down on our anger so that it becomes deep-seated hatred, resentment, or bitterness (Eph 4:26), or hate our brother or sister in the Lord and, therefore, be liars that dwell in darkness (1 Jn 2:9, 11; 3:15; 4:20). That we will love our neighbors as ourselves and be lights in a dark world by cherishing the sanctity of human life, young and old and disabled. That we will show the world that children are valuable blessings, not inconveniences or burdens, and plead with You to change the hearts of women who selfishly seek abortions, men who fearfully force them, and doctors who gladly assist them.

7. . . . that we will not lust or commit adultery. That we will not dishonor Your gift of sexuality. That husbands will rejoice in their wives and wives rejoice in their husbands (Prov 5:18), holding the marriage covenant in the highest regard and the marriage bed undefiled (Heb 13:4). That those of us who are unmarried will find our fullest satisfaction in You by fleeing youthful lusts and pursuing righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2 Tim 2:22). That all of us would maintain purity of mind by avoiding TV programs, videos, magazines, or Internet sites that stimulate and feed the flesh (Phil 4:8). That we will pray for the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is self-control.

8. . . . that we will not steal from You or from others. That we will not dishonor Your provision. That we will not steal from You by withholding Your tithe from our church because of unbelief or self-centered spending habits (Mal 3:8), but give motivated by grace (2 Cor 8:1-9). That we will not steal from others by taking advantage of them or being habitually late for appointments. That we will flee laziness and pursue hard work (Prov 6:6–11), and avoid all financial dealings that call integrity into question. That we will not steal from government by cheating on our taxes (Rom 13:6), or steal from our family by wasting money on foolish habits (1 Tim 5:8), or buy a lottery ticket or enter a casino (Prov 28:22). That we will learn to be good stewards of the money You have entrusted to our care, faithfully giving our first-fruits to You and wisely managing the rest (Prov 3:9-10).

9. . . . that we will not lie against one another. That we will not dishonor Your truth. That we will not practice perjury (Prov 24:28), bribery (Prov 17:23), slander (Prov 10:18), gossip (Prov 11:13), or flattery (Psalm 12:2, 3). That we will not make false claims about ourselves or wear masks to impress or deceive others, speaking only the truth in love (Eph 4:15), and building our relationships on trustworthiness. That we will tell the whole truth and not reveal only the facts that make us look good. That we will be true friends by honoring confidences (Prov 17:9). That we will not lie in church by singing songs of worship to You from our lips and not from our hearts (Matt 15:8). That we will honor Your truth at all times by pursuing authentic Christian living.

10. . . . that we will not crave earthly belongings. That we will not dishonor Your gifts. That we will not desire what is not rightfully ours and endeavor to acquire it, but instead treat other people’s property with respect. That our hearts will not be captivated by affection for money or this world’s goods (1 Tim 6:8–10). That we will resist the temptation to put trust in credit cards and learn to say “no” to impulse buying. That we will replace envy with gratitude and conscious thanksgiving (1 Pet 2:1), praise instead of complaint, and prayer instead of worry (Phil 4:6, 7). That we will learn to be content in any and every circumstance (Phil 4:11).

Heavenly Father, we pray this for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ. May You grant all of us the grace to be Your obedient servants! In Jesus Name, Amen.

[This article was originally posted January 4, 2012, and is excerpted from Delight in the Word: Spiritual Food for Hungry Hearts]

Source URL: http://counselingoneanother.com/2018/04/17/a-ten-commandments-prayer/

Barna Update | Americans Feel Good About Counseling

Millions of Americans face mental illness each year. Yet the stigma surrounding mental health and therapy persists, despite the fact that Americans—especially Christians—who see a counselor have overwhelmingly positive experiences with the practice. In a new study, Barna looks at how Americans feel about and engage with counseling.

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18 Questions about Faith and Mental Illness

How should we understand the effects of the Fall on the mind and brain? We know our bodies age and die. We know all of our organs are susceptible to disease and deterioration. We have “norms” for the frequency, duration, onset, and prognosis of these effects of the Fall; what are the equivalent expectations for the mind and brain?

When engaging a difficult and highly personal subject, it is better to start with good questions than a list of answers. The better our questions are, the more responsibly we will utilize the answers of which we are confidant, the more humbly we will approach areas of uncertainty, and the more we will honor one another in the process of learning.

As I’ve read, counseled, and thought about the subject of mental illness, here are some of the questions that have emerged.

The purpose of these questions is to expand our thinking about mental illness. We all bring a “theory of mental illness” to this discussion. This theory, whether we can articulate it or not, shapes the questions we ask. Exposing ourselves to important questions from other perspectives is the first step in becoming more holistic in our approach.

Don’t allow these questions to overwhelm you. All of these questions existed before you read them. Speaking them didn’t create them. Actually, an appropriate response to this list would be the generation of more questions. Take a moment to write down the additional questions you have.

  1. Is mental illness a flaw in character or chemistry? Is this the best way to frame the question? What do we lose when we fall into the trap of either-or thinking?
  2. Why do we think of genetic influences as if they negate the role of the will or personal choice? Substance abuse can have a clear genetic predisposition, but every addiction program – even those most committed to a disease model – appeal to the will as a key component to sobriety.
  3. In the modern psychological proverb, “The genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger,” where is the person? How do we best understand the interplay of predisposition (genetics), influences (environment), and the individual making choices (person)?
  4. What percent of those who struggle with “normal sorrow” are labeled as clinically depressed? What percentage of those who think their sorrow is normal are actually clinically depressed? How do we communicate effectively when the same word – depression – has both a clinical and popular usage?
  5. Would we want to eradicate all anxiety and depression if we were medically capable of doing so? What would we lose, that was good about life and relationships, if these unpleasant emotions were eradicated from human experience? Would that be heaven-on-earth or have unintended consequences that are greater than our current dilemma?
  6. Can we have a “weak” brain—one given to problematic emotions or difficulty discerning reality—and a “strong” soul—one with a deep and genuine love for God? If we say “yes” to this question in areas like intelligence (e.g., low IQ and strong faith), would there be any reason to say “no” about those things described as mental illness? C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity says, “Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or the worst of this raw material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us; all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises (p. 91-92).”

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Young Teens and Social Media

Like all of us, teens are made to live in relationship. They are social, interested in peers, and looking for connection in the relationships they build. They are also growing in independence. For many, social media is newly available to them and it is tailor-made made for those who are just entering the social scene. It offers an easy way to connect with people and places a world of information at their fingertips. It can even offer community to those who are shy or more isolated and need a connection to the outside world.

However, this new way of relating can be dangerous to a teen who is unaware of its potential risks. Indiscriminate use of social media can have many negative impacts. It is addictive. It can create a felt need to always be “connected” for fear of missing out on something. Some teens will start to lose sleep and lose interest in other activities. Others will constantly create and recreate themselves online while feeling a false sense of security because of the perceived safety of an electronic screen. This might lead to a lack of discretion about what is okay to post and make them vulnerable to on-line bullying, sexting, and pornography. It can even increase the risk of victimization from online predators.

These problems are serious and, as parents, we need to be in ongoing conversations with our kids about them. Just like teaching a child to handle a stove, a bike, or a car, we must also prepare them to use social media well. We would never let a young child simply turn on a stovetop and begin playing with it, nor would we hand a 14-year-old the keys to a truck and expect them to have the knowledge, skill and good judgement to handle it. Likewise, we should not hand kids a smart phone or other connected device without first proactively shaping how they think about and interact with this new technology.

To start, talk with them about the biblical principle of stewardship. Remind them that we are called to be stewards of what God has created (Psalm 24:1). It is all his and we and are to use it faithfully to serve him. Explain that stewardship extends to all that man creates as well, including electronic devices. Help your kids form the way they view technology. Teach them about its benefits and potential dangers—it’s never too early. Much heartache is avoided when parents are involved in shaping their child’s view on this subject—rather than trying to debunk a wrong one.

Then, to keep the conversation going, develop a working knowledge and understanding of social media. Parents (and youth workers, and counselors) do not have the luxury of dismissing their ignorance as unimportant. What may not be of interest or value to you must become so for the sake of the well-being of our young people. In fact, being well-educated on social media will win you the respect of your children and help you avoid over-reacting or imposing unjustified restrictions when questions arise about specific apps.

Use that knowledge to monitor and limit their activities online. Teens have a false sense of security when hiding behind an electronic screen in the comfort of their own home. They presume they are safe and alone. It is a parent’s responsibility to be sure they actually are safe. Until a young person has the maturity, tools, and skill to protect themselves, it is a parent’s job to do so for them. This will not be met with excitement on your teen’s behalf. It means being on top of their activities. It means being called over-protective, and potentially being told you are “the only parent in school who does ______.”

Teach safety skills online. Personal information should never be requested or given out. Be aware of all sites and passwords your child has, and be willing to check on them regularly. Even if you trust your child’s online activity, be aware that there are others online with your son or daughter who are not trustworthy. Role play uncomfortable situations until your kids can articulate what is wrong with what is being asked of them and how they would handle it. Give “what if” questions to prepare them for the unexpected. “What if someone asked for personal information?” “What if you got a text from someone you didn’t know, what would you do?” “What if your girlfriend/ boyfriend sent you an inappropriate picture?” Make it an on-going conversation, one that does not instill fear but preparedness.

And finally, teach them personal responsibility and godly fidelity in whatever they doIn Colossians 3:23-24, Paul writes: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” We want to encourage young people to engage in daily life with godliness and the conviction that they are living for the approval of the Lord, not the applause of their friends.

Our children are growing up in a world that thrives on technology, and we must be faithful in helping them engage with it. As with many things, technology can be a useful tool and a source of enjoyment, connection, and education. It can also become an addiction, idol, or tool for malice. The more we build strong character in our children, and the more we actively teach them to steward technology, the more likely they are to handle it with skill and wisdom.

The post Young Teens and Social Media appeared first on Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation.

Seminar: Finding Your Confidence, Identity, and Security in Christ (Podcasts)

The audio segments below were taken from the live presentation of the “Finding Your Confidence, Identity, and Security in Christ” seminar. For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

Chapter 1.
If Not Self-Esteem, Then What?

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-1?theme=white

Chapter 2.
A Portrait of Christ-Honoring Identity

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-2?theme=white

Chapter 3.
A Portrait of Christ-Honoring Purpose 

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-3?theme=white

Chapter 4.
A Portrait of Christ-Honoring Confidence

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-4?theme=white

Chapter 5.
A Portrait of Christ-Honoring Security

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-5?theme=white

Chapter 6.
A Portrait of Christ-Honoring Wisdom

https://player.pippa.io/brad-hambrick/episodes/finding-your-confidence-identity-security-in-christ-part-6?theme=white

If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Self-Esteem” post which address other facets of this subject.

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