One of the worst things we can hear when we are struggling with life is for people to tell us things like “Try harder”, “Have more faith”, or “Just stop it.” All of these work so well don’t they!
Believe it or not I have spoken with many people who tell me that either their Pastor or their therapist have told them that if they would just stop the behavior they want to quit then it would stop!
That is like looking at a broken pipe and saying “Stop leaking water” and expecting it to actually stop. I can understand a secular therapist telling people to just stop it, but I expect the Pastor to know better. As a Pastor, the first thing we understand we must help people with is to check in with them on where they are at in their relationship with Jesus.
The secret to a great Christian Counselor is whether or not they start with your relationship to God. If not, walk away quickly. Why start with God? Because everything in the world starts with and revolves around God. God created us and everything in the world. If we are out of sorts in our walk with God, then everything else in our lives is going to be out of sorts as well, guaranteed. I have never counseled a single person who did not eventually get around to telling me that they were just “not right with God” while their problems were going on.
You see, God allows troubles in our lives for many reasons. One, to get our attention when we decide to ignore Him for extended periods of time. Two, to get our attention when we get too full of ourselves. Three, to show us that He has not forgotten about us. Four, to remind us that if we will depend on Him instead of our own abilities, then He will always be there to help.
We cannot “try harder”, “have more faith”, or just “stop it.” We have to firstly ensure that our relationship with Jesus is solid, meaning we are reading our Bibles regularly, praying to Him regularly, and remaining in a grateful and thankful state of mind more often than not. When we are doing these things, then we are ready to ask God to pick us up and carry us through our problems and He happily will.
To your friends or Pastor or therapist or counselor that are telling you to try harder, just smile and them and remember to put them on your prayer list because they are clearly deluded and out of their minds! Show me once in the Bible where Jesus told someone to try harder and I’ll turn in my Pastors degree!!!
We simply need to love Jesus more, talk with Him more, and make Him the center of the universe of our lives and we will begin to notice that things do not bother us as much as they used to, and as well, we will find that our problems no longer last nearly as long as they used to.
Pastor Brad Komgenick