I wrote Part 5 of The New Me in May of 2012.
Over the summer I planned to write Part 6, detailing the new role I would assume in the fall.
I never wrote that post.
And now as I sit here in my office, I’m not sure if I should write about it.
The update I was going to write had to do with my then recent promotion to Dean of Students at Schaumburg Christian School. I was excited about the amazing opportunities God was going to give (and had already given) me in dealing with the students in that spiritually intimate way. My duty was to be the primary counselor in both preventative and corrective capacities for elementary through high school. Though there were hundreds of students in those grades, I can honestly say I was excited to no end at the opportunity.
And for the past two years that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
Has it been challenging? Definitely. I learned early, though, that corrective counseling should be a supreme joy because God had allowed the student’s sin to find him out, and now my Lord wants to use me as channel of truth in that child’s life. That’s exciting! So I can honestly say I have loved my job.
Now, if you’re a perceptive reader, you are probably sensing that my enigmatic introduction and this present-perfect-tense-type of talk may be foreshadowing a recent change. Oh, what a smart reader you are!
There have been some significant changes to my life direction over the past few months, and I plan to divulge that in Part 7! But before I depart this should-have-been-written-long-ago post, I do believe the Lord would be glorified if I shared some important lessons I’ve learned being the Dean of Students in a Christian school.
- We’re all “professional” counselors. Is it possible to study counseling as an occupation, be certified, and become a respected voice in the broader vocation known as counseling? Yes. But biblically speaking we are all called by God to admonish, reprove, correct, rebuke, edify, encourage, disciple, sharpen, and bear (I Thessalonians 5:14, II Timothy 4:2, I Timothy 5:20, I Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Matthew 28:19, Proverbs 27:17, & Galatians 6:2 just to name a few). No one who calls himself a Christ-follower should ever feel unqualified to give counsel as long as he gives God’s truth from God’s Word. Too many times I find myself dealing with a student who has other spiritual authorities who’ve neglected their responsibilities. Don’t relegate counseling to your pastor or some other “professional.” Share God’s Word!
- We’re all in need of admonition. In the same way that we’re all called to be “professional” counselors, we’re all called to be counselees as well. None of us make perfectly sanctified decisions every day, all day. We all need men and women in our lives who’ll keep us accountable and to whom we can turn for God’s truth. You’re not the exception.
- Our opinion doesn’t matter. Don’t merely seek out those people who will agree with your decision. Skim the cream from men and women who (regardless of what they think about you or your decision) will share with you truth from the inscripturated word of God. Everyone has an opinion, and if they do not source their philosophies in the absolute Truth of God, then there’s no guessing where’s it’s coming from. Do you really want to ground your reality in Wikipedia, your friend’s capricious emotions, the Disney Channel, Snopes, or the ever-changing arena of humanistic philosophy? (Ephesians 4:14-15)
- God allows sin to destroy those He turns over to a reprobate mind. “Getting away” with sin is never what it seems. Your sin is always known to God, and it seems to me (from biblical, historical, and personal experience) that having your sin “find you out” earlier is ALWAYS better than later. Romans 1:18-32 details for us what happens to unsaved people whom God turns over to their sin. It’s not pretty. Get help early! The consequences are always more bearable in the spring of a sin season then they are in the winter.
- God chastens those He loves. When we’re caught in a sin, the temptation is to feel defensive. The authority is the antagonist, you’ve been caught, and will now have to suffer the terrible consequences. But in reality, Hebrews 12:6 and Revelation 3:19 tells us that God chastens those He loves. This means that chastening is a joyous thing designed to communicate God’s love for us. He knows our sin will destroy us, and He doesn’t want that to happen, so He allows our sin to find us out. We should be thankful for the men and women God tasks with being his Truth-channels. God hasn’t given up on us, has a wonderful plan for us, and is actively working in our lives to accomplish it!
- Mom and Dad need as much admonition as the children do. I know this is a cheap repeat of #2, but there’s something about being a parent that deceives us. Look, I’m a parent too. No one’s a perfect parent. And we’re not fooling anyone pretending to be. The only thing that keeps parents from acknowledging their own sins in childrearing is pride. When my children make bad choices, I always question myself first. Don’t misunderstand, they’re completely responsible to God for their own choices, but I always check myself to see if I’ve been a bad example, allowed certain behaviors to go unaddressed, or faltered in my discipling. And, believe it or not, when my children have regular sin problems . . . there’s always something I can do better. This is why there’s not a child I am blessed to work with that I don’t make the opportunity to speak with mom and dad.
I’m very much looking forward to writing Part 7 – about as much as I was looking forward to writing Part 6 two years ago. But hopefully it won’t take as long this time. :-)