“I do not require my clients to be virtuous in order to continue in therapy. There would be few clients and few therapists if the standard of full moral integrity was imposed on all of us.” (Doherty, 1995)
That’s comforting, right? I mean, the reason most people seek counseling is because they are having trouble with their values, feeling, emotions, etc. So it makes sense that a counselor wouldn’t kick a client out because they’re not perfect! But the author also says there wouldn’t be many counselors either, if they were expected to be perfect. Hmm…
The church is like that… right? It should be. Could you imagine what it would be like if we had to be perfect in order to be a part of God’s family? I think sometimes we expect perfection, and we should most definitely try our best, but we’re just not. We need to stop expecting perfection out of imperfect people who just want to come worship God and have a church family to be a part of. This also goes for ministers, teachers, elders, and deacons… no person in the church, no one on this planet is perfect.
One big difference in the church and a counseling practice, is our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) is perfect! But the same as an earthly counselor, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect, he understands us (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15). This isn’t an excuse to not strive to be perfect, to be like Jesus, what it is though is love. He loves us even though we’re not perfect. We need to love each other, even though we’re not perfect.
Doherty, W. J. (1995). Soul searching: why psychotherapy must promote moral responsibility.