• How to Care Like Christ

    Posted on September 1st, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    How to Care Like Christ

    Introduction: What to Do After the Hug

     

    What do you do after the hug? Or, if you’re a guy, what do you do after the fist bump and the grunt!

     

    Whether you’re a pastor in local church ministry or a lay person sipping coffee with a hurting friend at Starbucks or McDonalds, you know what I’m talking about. We can hug. We can care. We can sense our friend’s pain over ongoing suffering and their frustration over besetting sins. But sometimes we struggle, don’t we, to know what to do next? In fact, knowing what to do after the hug can feel like a maze, like we’re lost without a GPS.

     

    That’s why we want to learn together what to do after the hug. We want to see how the Bible is our GPS: God’s Positioning System! We can learn how to use the Bible accurately, powerfully, and lovingly. We can learn how to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth. We can learn how to care like Christ.

     

    How do I know that we can? Because the Apostle Paul says so in Romans 15:14. Like him, I am convinced that you are full of goodness (Christlike character), complete in knowledge (biblical content), and competent to counsel (relational competency) one another (Christian community). Through How to Care Like Christ we will grow together in character, content, competency, and community.

     

    In another letter to another group of struggling Christians, Paul provides our framework for people-helping. “I loved you so much that I gave you not only the Scripture but also my own soul because you were dear to me” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Between saying he loves them and saying they were dear to him, Paul sandwiches Scripture and soul, truth and love. We wrap our purpose around these two themes: Scripture/truth and soul/love.

     

    My Scripture/truth goal is to equip you to become a soul physician who offers your parishioners, your counselees, and your spiritual friends Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally-informed biblical counseling and spiritual formation that changes their lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

     

    The world says, “All we need is love.” They downplay any need for absolute truth. They dismiss any thought that we need God-inspired insight for living. And in our day, even the church minimizes truth. I had a church ask me, “Could you just breeze through this truth part and focus almost all your time on the practical how-to part?” As if God’s Word is impractical? We must learn to think like Christ—to change lives with Christ’s changeless truth.

     

    My soul/love goal is to equip you to become a spiritual friend who cares like Christ as you offer others sustaining empathy, healing encouragement, reconciling enlightenment, and guiding empowerment. Some Christians say, “All you need is truth. Just preach the Word.” But God’s Word says we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We must learn to love like Christ—to care like Christ.

     

    Let the journey begin!