There seems to be no lack of opinion among our fellow citizens as to what is the best way forward for our society if the recent presidential campaign is any indication. Most of us are exhausted from the back and forth that took place for many months leading up to the election. What was striking was how radically divergent these positions often were. Pundits and pollsters opined and predicted with great conviction and confidence, often with very little patience for dissent.
In many quarters a great belief in the ultimate progress and goodness of man was expressed, almost as though the right government could bring about a kind of manmade heaven. Many appeared to be certain that theirs was the moral high ground in the argument, even as they failed to live up to the same standards they seemed so willing to impose on others. But we are too shortsighted to readily recognize our own inconsistencies. We are often misled by our own blindness and self-interest. I am reminded of Isaiah 53:6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way….
I am reminded of the need of a shepherd. We must recognize that man is not the source of wisdom or ultimate solutions and that we need correction and guidance from above. This need was foreseen by the prophet Micah in chapter 5 verse 4, And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. Christmas fulfills the promise of reorientation by a loving shepherd. Far from placing our hope in human potential, we place our hope in the saving guidance of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
This belief forms the basis of my counseling philosophy. I am convinced that the heart of counseling needs to address both our dignity as special creations of God and our depravity as people in rebellion. Our pride and willfulness need to be transformed into humility and trust. This can only happen by the grace of God. It is the only real hope we have—a hope we celebrate this very Merry Christmas.