Welcome to Part 2 of 4 in our series on self-counseling. Self-counseling is the process of using Scripture, Choice Theory, and the Holy Spirit to evaluate your life, understand what you need, and make choices to meet those needs responsibly.
The idea of self-counseling can be hard for some people to accept. They’ve been told they need to spend significant time with a professional who will help deal with problems and create new solutions. While this can be true in some circumstances, it is not true for all of us. God has blessed each of us with the Holy Spirit, and with wise counsel both through Scripture and information that you can use right now—wherever you are—to live a joyful life with meaningful relationships.
Self-counseling involves four steps that we can follow with the acronym R-DAD, which stands for Rightly Dividing the Word of God And Discerning the Voice of God. You can read about step 1 here. Step two involves Rightly Dividing and Sharing the Word of God.
We take this from 2 Timothy 2:15,
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)
The NIV version of this verse talks about correctly handling the word of truth. It’s clear to us that this is very important. People can use the Bible in a variety of ways that do not line up with God’s plan for us, and we must all be careful to correctly handle the words of Scripture.
Ask for Wisdom from the Holy Spirit
Every time you go to Scripture, go to the source of Scripture—the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21 reminds us that Scripture came by the Holy Spirit. So, begin by asking the Holy Spirit to bring you understanding and insight as you read the Scriptures. God wants to speak truth to you from the Bible!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 (NIV)
Remember the Cross and the New Covenant
The Old Testament is the background, or context of our faith. It explains the separation of individuals from God, with the exception of a few who had a direct connection with Him. In the Old Testament, forgiveness of sins required effort, and regular sacrifices.
In the New Testament we see how Jesus’ arrival on earth gave each of us the opportunity to connect directly with God. Our sins are forgiven through God’s grace and the simple act of faith in Jesus. With this new understanding we live dramatically different lives than those in the Old Testament.
But as it is, Christ has acquired a [priestly] ministry which is more excellent [than the old Levitical priestly ministry], for he is the Mediator (Arbiter) of a better covenant [uniting God and man], which has been enacted and rests on better promises. Hebrews 8:6 (AMP)
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth involves remembering the new covenant where we are able to have a direct connection with God. It also prioritizes loving God and loving others over all the commandments (Mark 12:28-34).
Scripture is Not a Tool for Harm
God did not give Scripture so it could be used to attack others or defend positions of hate or condemnation. Scripture is used for correction and reminders to live right.
All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (AMP)
Always use Scripture for its intended purpose: to make us complete, capably, and ready to do good work. We believe that when you have thoughtfully evaluated your Quality World and placed in it the things that God wants for you, He will use Scripture to help you achieve these things.
Be wary of anyone who tries to quote Scripture in an apparent attack. Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth may require that you check and see why someone is sharing a certain verse with you. If it doesn’t line up with God’s plan for Scripture, then it is not being used correctly.
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth is an ongoing process. Accessing the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, remembering the cross and the new covenant, and using Scripture for its intended purpose are all part of this process.
R-DAD; Study the Word to show thyself approved unto the Lord – Step 2
As you rightly divide the word of truth, you’ll find hope, encouragement, insight, and purpose. When this happens, share it with others! This is part of Step 2 in R-DAD: sharing the word of truth.
Do it with an open, caring heart. You are not under any pressure or obligation to change someone’s mind with what you have learned in the Bible. Rather, you’re giving people information that has been helpful to you. Then, leave it with the Holy Spirit to speak to them personally.