For over 20 years, I have spent countless hours sitting down with people and working through struggles in their life. Hundreds of people come to me with very deep battlegrounds, usually with a need for heart healing and renewed life. I have passionately enjoyed rolling up my sleeves and equipping people get healed and set free, so they can reach their fullest potential.
I myself believe in the blessing of receiving help from those who have wisdom and can speak into my life. Personally, I will expose myself to people God puts in my life and I also search out those who can provide insight, wisdom and discernment into my life, so that I also can reach my fullest potential in God.
Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established. Proverbs 15:22 NKJV
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 NKJV
Healthy People Get Help All the Time
People who become very healthy regularly expose themselves to council, conferences and spiritual help all the time. Those who actually have great marriages are often those who attend marriage conferences, get periodic counseling and expose themselves all the time to people who can sharpen their marriage.
People who remain stuck often get help only when a crisis arises. They only act towards change when deep damage has already occurred in their home, relationships or health. People who become very healthy do not wait until a situation is exploding to get help. In fact, they have no problem or shame getting help all the time.
Those who don’t get help often remain stuck their whole life. We must realize that we cannot walk into the next level on our own, without exposing ourselves to healthy help.
In ministering to many people and receiving ongoing help for my own life, I have found the following tips to be extremely helpful when getting help from someone. Some may call it counseling, therapy, coaching or consultation. You can read about the work that I do on help page. My desire is give insight into a person’s battleground and equip them with tools that help them overcome.
It’s of high importance that you pick someone who is grounded and mature in working with people. Of course you certainly want to carefully pick someone who carries biblical wisdom and spiritual discernment, but also creates a safe and loving atmosphere for you to work through your life issues.
In the end, whatever pathways of help you choose to engage, here are some things to consider.
1. Do you ignore the advice and council of those already around you?
If so, don’t waste your time and money getting help from a counselor, therapist, pastor or minister of some kind. Many times the things that are brought up in the sessions will be things that have already been said to you by friends but have been ignored.
Those who receive help and breakthrough have made great use of the wise council of those who love them and have been invested in their life. Which leads me to the next point…
2. Do you have people in your life who are continually sharpening you?
Those who do well have developed relationships with people who they share their battles with and hear their friend’s honest observations. Do they have a voice to speak into your heart and issues? If not, then you create an island of your own thinking, where you are a standard only to yourself.
If you do not have daily council around you, then it is very easy for you to give a story to the person helping you that is tainted by your observations that have never been challenged. This makes the process more prolonged, because we will have to spend time untangling areas where you are self-deceived or in denial.
3. Do you want to hear truth or just want to be agreed with?
This is very critical, because if you really want truth, then you may have some uncomfortable moments of what you need to hear. But if you are positioned well for help, you won’t be thrown off if the real truth is spoken to you in love.
Most people are not used to hearing a loving rebuke, but correction is actually an expression of love. So we have to ask, what do you want to hear? If it’s truth, then get ready, because the truth will set you free, but it may make you mad at first. Its ok to be mad at first, but don’t throw out what is being said right away.
4. Expect miracles, but not magic.
Too often people treat help they get as a magic formula that will “poof”; make all their problems go away. God is a God of miracles, but we have to make room for the process where we learn to leave the junk and move into the freeing ways of God.
We love the “and suddenlies” of the Bible, where the miraculous power of God operated. But we fail to take note of the years of process that took place in people’s lives that lead to those miraculous moments.
God is God. The person helping you is not God, so don’t put that kind of pressure on them. You must take personal responsibility for your growth and healing. They are not responsible for your problems and the weight of your freedom is not standing completely on their shoulders. Let them partner with you as an equipper to your transformation.
5. Ask yourself, “How bad do I want to be free?”
Remember that those who help you cannot want your freedom more than you do. So check your hunger and ask yourself, “how bad do you want to be free?” Because when you come hungry and expectant, yet willing to do the work, you become a joy to those who minister to you.
6. Be honest.
If your goal is to not look bad, then forget it, because getting help will be unfruitful. If its a marriage issue, don’t hide where you have contributed to the problem and make your spouse look like the absolute monster. If you have some past choices and ways of living that have contributed to where you are at, then be truthful.
Coming into the light is so much less work than trying to hide your issues all the time. Those who desire wholeness more than anything will not be hindered by some honest assessment. Lets face it, we are all broken to various degrees. The quicker we acknowledge that honestly, we will supercharge our pathway to being more free.
7. Don’t just talk the whole time.
Your goal is not to tell the person your life story. A discerning and skilled person will be able to make some key insights within 15 minutes of talking to you. This is not because they don’t care, its because most problems all around the planet are hovering around the same themes—unresolved bitterness, unhealed brokenness, rejection, fear, ignorance, stubbornness and poor choices that came out of those areas. Ask God to help you share the details that are important and leave out what is not necessary to focus on.
It’s also a good idea to be an active listener. If you respond to what is being said to you with a quick tangent into a new subject, it probably shows you are not listening. Remember, you are there to gain insights to walk into freedom, so let your ears take in everything you can. If something is not understood, ask. It can even be helpful to repeat back to them in your own words what you hear them saying, so you can confirm what is being communicated.
8. Take notes on what is shared with you.
There is no way for you to remember every word that is said, so come with a notepad and pen. Write down what hit home, what needs to be learned and action steps you need to take.
Feel free to ask what you do not understand. Don’t be afraid of looking dumb if you don’t know the Scripture they are quoting—get it written down so you can read it later. I notice those who get the most fruit out of meetings with me often have something to write with so they can walk away and work on those areas.
9. Do your homework.
Most of the time, I give those I work with homework assignments—usually a teaching reference, book or exercise I recommend to them. When people contact me for a follow up meeting, I often ask, “Have you done your homework.” Sadly, many have not even bothered doing the homework, which shows they are not personally invested in their freedom. They want me to just rescue them out of their problem with no work involved on their end. Personal transformation just doesn’t work that way.
Be teachable, because in your freedom process, there is much to learn not only about getting free, but also living and staying free. If they do not give you homework, ask for it. Request take aways, steps of application, reading materials and teachings you can be exposed to.
10. Be responsible for your journey.
Too many people come to me complaining about the last person they got help from. Yet when you begin to get to know their life, it becomes clear they got help from someone until it got too hard or they couldn’t just blame life and others for their problems anymore.
So in offense, they moved on to find help from the next person. And they continue to go from person to person, conference to conference, counselor to counselor until they learn to take daily responsibility for their freedom. Only then will the help you receive become a further empowerment to your life.
One key that is incredibly important is that you have to stop blaming others and looking for other people to change, so you can feel better and grow. The focus needs to be on your thoughts, decisions and habits that can move you into the next stage of transformation. Make the focus on how you can grow.
Question: Which of the ten ways do you think are the most important?