A friend once asked me: if you don’t lock your counselling clients in a contract or don’t offer any perks for engaging in more sessions then how sure are you that they will ever come back?
I’ve never thought about this before, but at that time one word came out of my mouth: HOPE.
People suffering from addictions, whether it’s through gambling or the expression of sexuality, have lost a huge chunk of their lives pursuing their activity of pleasure. It comes to no surprise that most of them have lost their jobs, their savings, and some even their friends and families. The reason that they are there sitting in front of you seeking counselling is that that they have no alternatives left. They want their old lives back and we, in their eyes, are their only hope.
Hope motivates people, it keeps people alive. It was the hope of a better future that made them gamble impulsively; and it was hope of sensual satisfaction that made some abuse sexuality. It was a false hope that once destroyed their lives and we are here to give them the True Hope for restoration.
The apostle Paul referred to Jesus Christ as The Hope of Glory:
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The conversation with my friend above reminds me of a similar conversation held by Simon Peter and Jesus Christ. At this point in the Gospels, a lot of the disciples left Jesus Christ because they cannot take His “hard” teaching of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
This was a great revelation of what Simon Peter had about Jesus Christ. After all, without Jesus, where can we really go? What can we really do? Why should we even do it? All of these questions only make sense if we look forward to a bright and heavenly future; an eternal future united with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Hope gives us a view of a brighter future; a future so bright that it lightens up how we see our present. Hope is the assured thought and the knowledge that guarantees that Jesus Christ will come again.
Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
So what drives people to come back to counselling and improve their lives? It is hope. But what changes them to be the better man and woman? Only the True Hope, Jesus Christ, can do that!
* Image taken from Google Images [Edited]