Discerning thinking and behavior that God wants to change.
You want to view how you think about any issue in life with what God thinks about it. Your problem might be that you don’t agree with what Christ says.
Using God’s Word to Change Thinking and behavior
You want to start with Scripture as the means of how you should think about living life.
For the benefit of the person and for the glory of God.
So how do you accomplish this process? it’s called nouthetic counseling
Paul engaged in teaching the scripture night and day. He didn’t just teach on Sunday, then the rest of the week train to be a Gladiator. He engaged in the process of pastoral work that is necessary to build up individuals in their faith. He engaged individuals one on one on a daily basis. If you read Paul’s letters, you will see they are filled with people. I need to check out how many people are mentioned in his letters that he was personally involved with teaching.
ELEMENTS IN NOUTHETIC confrontation. Usually there is going to be a clash or an argument of points of views. In my experience, those who I am talking to, generally do not agree with a scriptural point of view.
- Okay, what do the terms mean to "admonish," "warn," and "teach."
A. T. Robertson, of Colossians 1:28, rendered it "put sense into."
So what does nouthetic confrontation consist of? There are at least three basic elements according to Jay Adams.
1 "to teach" The term "didasko" does not imply any problem, but simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable.
What I learned early, "to teach" is something that refers to the one who is teaching. The person who you are teaching, may not be at all happy about what you are teaching. They may not even agree with what you are teaching. They generally are not all that excited about hearing your instruction, or teaching on the subject at hand. My experience is that most don’t want to hear biblical teaching, but would rather hear what the other points of view are.
Adams points out: "nouthesis" specifically presupposes the need for a change in the person confronted, who may nor may not put up some resistance." But in either case there is a problem in their life that needs to be solved. Some sin, some obstruction, some problem, some difficulty, some need that has to be acknowledged and dealt with. What you are trying to say, is "God wants change." You don’t change by taking a pill. There needs to be an inward personality change, a behavioral change.
2 "to admonish". Here is the idea: the sense of admonishing with blame, and to rebuke. That is never well liked. The idea of "nouthesis" gives the idea, there is going to be some kind of confrontation in which the objective is to effect a character and behavior change in the person you are talking to one on one.
Here is what Adams said,
- "Nouthetic confrontation, that is one on one, in its bibical usage, aims at straightening out the individual by changing his pattern of behavior to conform to biblical standard."
For example, Nathan’s confronting David after his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba. And also, Christ’s restoring Peter after His resurrection.
The idea is to confront with the truth of scripture. Nouthetically, means you speak soon enough, strictly enough, and seriously enough to really effect genuine changes in them.
Counseling in the first place implies someone has a hindrance, difficulty, dilemma, problem, etc. and you presuppose a blockade that must be overcome..
And what generally happens, you don’t want to confront, challenge, or deal with what you really know to be the real problem. That is not the meaning of nouthetical biblical counsel.
"Why did you do that, or why are you doing this?" This is not nouthetical counseling either. One young man when asked why he kept doing what he was doing. He said, "It’s in my blood line." Too much on the "why" will lead to finding some extenuating reasons for excusing conduct which other wise would be described as sinful. Nouthetical biblical counseling is not finding excuses for their bad behavior. It is the task to stop them.
The idea is to discuss the WHAT, NOT THE WHY.