While I’m still not comfortable enough to place myself solely within ONE Christian counseling “camp,” I’ve recently been encouraged and become more and more impressed by the work of the CCEF folks.
Here is an audio clip of Dr. David Powlison and Andrew Ray from their “Help and Hope.” It’s only 9 minutes long and an easy listen-not to be confused with “easy listening” music of course. You’ll have to get past their very quite, soft, and gentle voices that remind me of the ladies from the S.N.L. sketch “Delicious Dish.”
These two lads tackle an incredibly practical question from a listener to their show: “How can I stop being over-sensitive?”
Wouldn’t that be nice? I think I can be over-sensitive at times and under-sensitive at others. In this short discussion, you can see that the answer is not to become more “thick skinned,” as Jon Gruden told his former player Keyshawn Johnson even though he was being “thin skinned” in his retort. Nor is the answer to let over-sensitivity rule the day and ignore the fact that sensitivity turned inward neglects Jesus. It is the best answer I’ve heard to date regarding this question.
I told someone the other day that I’m good at diagnosing problems, but not as good at providing the solution. I actually said it in connection to this very question. Now at least I feel more prepared at redeeming and embracing a gospel centered sensitivity.
Here are a few notes I jotted down while listening to this helpful resource. I hope they will whet your appetite for a 9 minute dinner.
- sensitivity is one of God’s greatest gifts
- sensitivity turned inward takes God out of the picture and we’re left with you and me and what you think of me
- thick skinned is basically the same as being callous; not a good goal to shoot for
- Jesus is the High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness
- We can turn sympathy tables around; because we are so loved, we don’t focus our sensitivity inward
- The goal is to be safer in Christ and more thin skinned toward FOR others
Even tho Jim and I were initially trained as NANC counselors, as CCEF became meshed with NANC we came to see basic differences in their goals. Part of it was personality-driven and we owe these men a great debt of gratitude; they began to publish/teach that helping "men and women, boys and girls change" was a heart issue (Powlison's Tree Model). The rest is history.