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Mental Health Counseling from a Biblical Perspective for Teens, Young Adults, Adults, and Couples in the Redmond and NewCastle areas. Seattle Christian Counseling for Teens & Adults emphasizing God's word with Joshua Loy, MA LMHC and Gabe Davis, M.Div, M.S., LMFT.

Advantage, Lowly People.

Blog | New Ground Counseling | Addiction Counselor

Blog posts from Joshua Loy, MA LMHC and Gabe Davis MS, MDiv, LMFT. New Ground Counseling focuses on Bible-based, Mental Health Counseling for Teens in the Redmond, Bellevue and greater Seattle area.  Emphasizing the power of God's Word in Biblical Counseling with Teens and Young Adults.

Advantage, Lowly People.

Joshua Loy

Lowly people.

I have the most real conversations.  Like, grip the armrests of my chair, real. 

“I’m hopelessly addicted” conversations.
“I was raped” conversations.
“My family is a disaster” conversations.
“I don’t want to live” conversations.
“I might be pregnant” conversations.
“I’m gay. Does God hate me?” conversations.

By the way, these conversations are with teenagers.  Kids.  Some of them look like they’re ten.  Others look older than me.  Sometimes, I feel like I want to adopt them, teenager and all; take them home so I can somehow be more than a counselor.  Sometimes they leave and I cry. 

But it’s also wonderful. 

It’s wonderful because hurting people have a certain advantage.  A major one, actually.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit… Blessed are those who mourn” (Mt. 5:2).  Advantage, lowly people.

Lowly people see more clearly.

I’ve had this thought that recurs in these moments:  “Things just got real.”  And in a very genuine way, they did.  The mask has been set down.  There’s no shred of pretension.  The sheer honesty of it raises the room temperature a degree or two:

“I want to light up right now so bad.  I swear, I don’t even know why I’m sober.”

“F*** God.  If there is a God, why is my life a complete mess?”

“I don’t know what to do.”

“I know its evil.  But I still want it.  I still do it.  What is wrong with me?”

“I’ve actually… never told anyone this before.”

But the real shocker in these moments is the clear position of neediness:  “I can’t do it.  I’m in trouble here.  This is not enough.  I am not enough.” 

And they’ve never seen the world more clearly.  They’re halfway to reality.  God says we are needy.  We cannot do it.  We are not enough. 

The Almighty is with the lowly.

During these conversations, I love to tell them God was patiently waiting for this moment.  I tell them God has never been closer.  In response to the incredulous look on their faces, I assure them I’m not kidding and show them:

"I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the broken." (Isaiah 57:15)

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

What God would ever pursue lowly outcasts?  Only The God.  The Almighty is with the lowly.  God was hoping that, in your weakness, you’d see Him.  He’s actually followed you down into this valley.  You’ve always needed Him desperately, but now you can see it.  You can feel it.

The lowly are not tragic.

Sometimes people hear about my work and they express pity.  Broken families?  Wasted education?  Persistent addiction?  Tragic.  But the image of tragedy in Scripture is not the hurting, destitute, or lowly; it is the self-sufficient person.  It is the person who, in his success, exceeds in all but overlooks his need for a Savior.

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:12)

What does God have to say to those who are self-sufficient?  Those who are independent?  Those who have no need?  Nothing, except that they are wrong.  They are missing it.  They are not seeing clearly.

However, if today you feel like a failure, you are not tragic.  Because coming to the end of yourself is the beginning of finding satisfaction in Jesus.  He promises to be enough when you aren’t.  He claims to be the Bread of Life and Living Water.  Here, in your hunger and thirst, you might just taste His goodness.  And it might be better than feeling like a success.

Lord, make me lowly.

This message is for me.

I sometimes have difficult mornings.  Like “Can-I-do-today?” mornings.  God is more delighted on those days when, still in bed, I tell him, “I need you.  I can’t do today without you.  Please help me.”  More pleased than my jump-up, get-to-work and forget about my Savior and Sustainer mornings.

As for the young, messy people I work with—they remind me that we are the same.  I am not different.  I cannot take a breath without the sustaining power of Jesus in whom “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).  They remind me that I too am needy for the forgiving, upholding, guiding work of Jesus.  And in that lowly place, He has so much to offer.