“Of course there aren’t—there is only one way—namely, God’s way. Every thinking, biblical Christian will agree.”

But wait a moment—often there are several ways that God’s one way may be carried out.

“What are you talking about? How can there be both one and several—both at the same time?”

Well, there can often be several ways of accomplishing (or failing to accomplish) God’s one way.

“How about a ‘for instance?’ I don’t get it.”

OK. Try this on for size: You are to tell the truth, but you may do so in a variety of ways. God says, for instance, tell the truth IN LOVE?  You know, telling the truth may be done lovingly or harsh, thoughtlessly—in ways that make the truth a hindrance to communication rather than a help. Is it still the same truth when spoken in these two distinct ways?

“Truth is truth, isn’t it?”


“Then how could it be anything else but truth—even when spoken harshly?”

Consider this: Suppose you want another to know that you care about him/her? So you say, “I want you to know what I think about you . . . ,” and that’s as far as you get before the other person interrupts and says, “and I want you to know what I think about you,” and he begins to tell you off! Then the truth that you were about to speak (“I think you are a caring person”) may never surface, and a wrong idea emerges instead. Thus the truth is attempted, but failed to be heard.

“Guess there can easily be such misunderstandings.”

Sure can—and believe me they abound. So, be sure the truth really comes across, or you may try to speak truth and, instead, communicate something else—even the opposite!


Check out our online courses, including, Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling and  The Use of Scripture in Counseling, taught by Jay Adams!

Books related to counseling others:

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  2. The Christian Counselor’s Manual by Jay Adams
  3. How to Help People Change by Jay Adams
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The Christian Counselor’s New Testament and Proverbs, translated by Jay Adams

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