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As Christian leaders daily interact with church members, ministry staff, counselees, and other people, they must respond to numerous situations. Many times, counselors and pastors will continue conversations through the distribution of physical resources. Counselors know the benefit of loading one’s counseling toolbox with resources for potential counselees that balance accessibility with deep penetrating truths.
Counselors and pastors should consider adding to their personal toolbox the latest contribution to P&R’s series of counseling handbooks, “Resources for Changing Lives.” Southern Seminary Professor of Biblical Counseling, Robert D. Jones, tackles the topic of contentment in his handbook, Contentment: Joy that Lasts. Jones exposits Paul’s well-known confession of contentment in Philippians 4:11-13. He argues that contentment is an “inner satisfaction in God alone, whatever the circumstances” (p. 3).
Jones - Draws - Truths - Passage - Counselees
Jones draws three truths from the passage that will help counselees retrain their hearts toward this inner satisfaction in God. First, Jones argues that counselees can learn true contentment. Second, counselees can enjoy true contentment despite hard circumstances. Third, counselees only find true contentment in God and nowhere else.
It would be a mistake to downplay the importance of equipping counselees to learn the discipline of contentment. The social engines of consumerism and the cultural ideas of “success” feed upon and fuel discontentment, enslaving men and women in an endless pursuit of commodities and the “good life.” The deceptive thought, “If only I had/reach/get/become…” solidifies into a core belief in life that reorients our loves and commitments. For others, discontentment stems from suffering. Tragedy, illness, broken relationships, unmet expectations, singleness, financial difficulties, closed doors, and challenging life circumstances intermingle pain, grief, and anger with discontentment into a concoction that embitters the soul toward God and the world.
Contentment - Disposition - Counsel - Others - Contentment
Contentment is a difficult disposition to counsel others toward because contentment is an intangible reality. Counselees usually seek help when a destructive...
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