Extending grace in counseling

Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 11:40

In Luke 15, Jesus is welcoming sinners and taking a meal with them. This is, of course, an astonishing thing for a person to do during that time because of the social implications that came with interacting with people who were of lesser religious status than the elite religious groups who reigned supreme. When the Pharisees questioned Christ about why he would even consider interacting with sinners, he responded with a series of parables.


The first parable Jesus taught in Luke 15 was the parable of the lost sheep. This parable teaches, among other things, that Jesus’ community celebrates sinners saved by grace. As believers, grace gives us a joy that cannot make us feel superior to people outside of the community of Jesus-followers. Tim Keller explains that the joy that grace gives creates a bond unlike any other bond with the people in Christ’s community because we experience life and death by grace.

I believe that as a Christ-follower who also happens to be a training therapist, the expectation exists for me to extend grace to each and every person that I come into contact with. The extension of grace is to be given regardless of a person’s perceived sin, regardless of the mess that the he or she is in, and especially regardless of whatever diagnoses has been given to them.

As therapists, I wonder if the opportunity exists for us to extend grace to our clients that assist in building the unique kind of human community that Christ has built for his followers. By extending grace to people, and inviting them to come as they are, is an invitation to freedom that many people have not experienced before; and that experience opens the door to meeting the one who offers real freedom forever.


(Post based off of Tim Keller's sermon "He Welcomes Sinners")