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Integrated Christian Counseling

Know Thyself: Dr. Campbell's Personal Testimony

Song:  I Need a Savior (Click)

To be an effective Christian counselor, it is important to "know thyself."  That is, it is important to understand and evaluate the beliefs that you "bought into" in life.  Ask yourself, "What types of irrational beliefs have I accepted as being true?"  "Do I need to challenge and reevaluate my beliefs and hold them up to the light of God's truth?"  Not all beliefs appear harmful--at least on the surface.  In this video, I discuss two "subtle" beliefs that shaped many aspects of my life:  1. Work hard and you'll make it, and 2.  You should like everyone and everyone should like you.  At first glance, these beliefs seem pretty reasonable and even desirable.  However, they have caused me great pain in life and I have had to fight against them.

The truth is, it does not help to just "work hard" and expect that things will all work out.  Many times I was working hard, but I was not working for God, I was working for myself and following my own interests and desires.  The truth is, unless you "Let go, and Let God" work in your life, all your work may be in vain.

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
(Psalm 127:1)

In a similar manner, my belief that everyone should like me and I should like everyone else turned out to be a big burden for a sensitive person like me.  The truth is, I don't need everyone to like me.  There are times when I stand up for my faith and do things that others don't like, but that's ok.  Not everyone has to like me.  In fact, if I am doing my job as a Christian, I am almost guaranteed that I will be persecuted for my faith.  

Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
Matthew 5:11-12)

Along similar lines, it is a lie to think that I have to like everyone with whom I come into contact.  For example, although Christ loved the Pharisees and Sadducees, he certainly did not like their behavior--especially with regard to their hypocrisy.  

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!
You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
(Matthew 23:25)

I can love my fellow human beings, but I don't have to like them, especially if that means liking their undesirable, ungodly, behavior.  In my role as a Christian counselor, I have had to work hard to defeat the belief that I should like all my clients and that they need to like me.  As I have grown older and wiser, I have realized that my main role is not to be popular with others.  I have learned to "speak the truth in love," regardless of whether this means that others are offended or that they are angry or upset with me.  By the way, I do not confront others out of my own sense of goodness or righteousness; I am clear to point out that the truth I am communicating to them is not my truth, but God's.  It is based on my understanding of God's holy Word.  

Bottom line, make sure you examine your own set of beliefs.  Are there toxic beliefs that you have accepted as true?  If so, examine how God's word might speak to these irrational beliefs.  What is the real truth, as revealed in the scriptures?

Blessings to all of you, as you journey towards the truth.

Dr. Campbell