As a Christian life coach who has completed an ICF accredited training program, it is important that you have an understanding of human nature and sin. This will help you better understand your clients and their motivation.
Think about some of the characteristics that are common to humanity. On the positive side these qualities include honesty, integrity, courage, self-awareness, and wholeheartedness. On the negative side can include arrogance, deception, delusion, dishonesty, ego, envy, greed, hatred, immorality, lying, selfishness, unreliability, violence.
Human beings can be so different and sometimes it’s strange to think of why that is. Scientists can measure our difference in knowledge, abilities, intelligence, and physiology, and chemistry, but understanding the uniqueness of people is much more difficult.
Your worldview will greatly affect your approach to Christian life coaching. If you think people are innately good and live in a universe where there isn’t a God, your coaching will be vastly different from someone who believes that we are the creation of a holy and loving God who has compassion and expectations for His people—those who have a personal relationship with him.
The Bible says
We are created in the image of God (Gen 1:25-27).
We were created by a loving God to be relational creatures who interact with one another (Gen 2:18). We were not created to be loners.
We were created male and female with unique genders (vs. 27).
We were created to have dominion (Gen 1.26) – dominion means “legal authority.”
Sexuality was/is always present in relationships.
We are biological (we have a body), we have a soul (we a mind, will and emotions); and we are spiritual (we have a spirit)—we are tripartite beings.
1 Thess. 5:23
The Bible gives us an incredibly rich view of human nature. As Christian life coaches with a biblical coaching mindset, we have the privilege of working with people who may be outcasts and wounded like the sinners Jesus ate dinner with. But we must remember they are loved by God, who takes pleasure in His creation and shows His love for us by providing a way for us to be reconciled to Him.
Christian life coaching differs from most other ICF accredited training on two basic issues: 1) the existence of God and his sovereignty over man; 2) mankind has a sin nature—the story of Adam and Eve gives the consequences of their fall, which has affected all of mankind. Some secular life coaches regard man as no different than animals; they do not recognize that we are created in God’s image and likeness. For many secular coaches, God is whoever you want/need him to be. However, unlike animals, man has a moral capacity to know what is right and wrong.
Likeness = “like as,” manner or fashion, similarity in appearance or character or nature
between persons or things
Image = resemblance, shadowing – foreshadowing, a visual representation – (like an
image of a false gods or idols)
Unregenerate man is controlled by his sin nature and relies on good works to feel good about himself. Regenerated man (born again) has two natures within him—a sin nature and the nature of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 7:22-23). Regenerated man does not rely on his own goodness but that of the Holy Spirit. His good works come from a love for God, not a need to please God.
A Christians, our most endearing relationship is with God himself. But we must remember that God values us and we are worthy of his care and respect (Romans 5:8). Thus, we must value ourselves and others. Consider Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
There was special emphasis placed on Jesus’ discourses in the temple because they took place three days before he died. The Sadducees (studiers and teachers of the law) asked Jesus a very significant question – which commandment is the greatest? They were tempting him with this question, but not so much his knowledge as his judgment. They thought that if he would say one was more important than the others, then it would look like He was vilifying (defaming) the masses and the people would become incensed with him.
Jesus answers them – and us – by saying that the law is fulfilled in one word – love.
It’s the foundation of all the rest.
- Love God
- Love our neighbor
- Love ourselves
- Love should be the motivating factor of all we do
Sin and Sin Nature
Except for biological problems, all of mankind’s difficulties and struggles result from his/her own sin, the sin of others, and/or the affects of sin upon the earth. (See Romans 3:23; 8:20-22.)
What words are missing from this statement? The devil controls an army of demons. What does this statement have to do with sin?
Conservative theology does not recognize the place that spiritual warfare has in a believer’s life.
Secular coaching believes that psychoneurosis (mental illness) implies no moral responsibility, error or misdeed on the part of the afflicted person. This breeds a victim mentality and offers no hope for recovery, only manageability.
Example: I was life coaching an individual who initially blamed God, then her parents for being so erratic. Then she blamed myself and figured there must be something wrong with her. As we coached through her issues, she began to accept things the way they were and began taking responsibility for my role – her thought life, any lie-based thinking, becoming aware of triggers, learning to manage her emotions, and exercising a greater degree of faith in God and his ability to use the circumstance to heal and grow her, and use her in his kingdom.
Example: I was life coaching an individual who initially blamed an emotional illness for all of his woes in life. He was incapable of helpless of making good decisions and he was tossed about by every whim of illness. Through life coaching, he learned that he could not blame anyone or anything, including the illness. He was empowered to take responsibility for his attitudes and actions. While this was a great struggle, God turned his life around and set him free.
For a Christian life coach, sin is the root cause of all of man’s ills in one form or another. This implies taking personal responsibility and the opportunity for complete recovery and freedom.
The Bible does not call sin “a misstep or a lapse in judgment.” It is an inherent (or inherited) condition within us, a controlling power that lies at the core of our being (Romans 7:22-23). How you view sin as a biblical life coach will greatly impact your coaching views and advice.
Sin as Rebellion
Sin is an act of deviation or rebellion. It involves turning away from God, his word, and his will (Ps. 51:2, 4). It is our tendency to know what God wants from us, yet approve of actions (our own or others) that violate his will (Romans 1:32). Sin involves breaking God’s commands (Matthew 15:3-8), lawlessness, and wrongdoing (1 John 3:4; 5:17 AMP.) among other things. In short, sin is doing, thinking, feeling, or acting in ways that are not completely in line with God.
Sin as an Attitude
Sin is also an attitude or a mindset that may be hidden behind good works, piety, or even humility (Jer. 17:8-10). Sin is a force inside and outside of man. There is the law of sin (Romans 7:23-27; 8:2) and the nature of sin (as it operates in the flesh, Gal. 5:19-22) both of which operate inside of man. There are also sinful beings or demonic forces that operate outside of man to affect him/her (Eph. 6:10-18).
Sin as a Force
The forces of sin are far more prevalent and widespread than the temptations any single individual encounters. Evil beings, described in Ephesians as principalities and powers, utilize the forces of sin to encourage rebellious tendencies in people. It can creep in to societies and show itself in mass movements (like prejudices, communism, acts of violence, etc.).
Sin as a State
The Bible teaches that because of the sin of one man, Adam, the entire human race has been corrupted, as has the earth itself (Romans 5:12-19; Eph. 2:1-3). Adam’s sin caused mankind to die spiritually (Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19), and changed man’s entire nature from one of loving God and others, to being selfish, self-centered, and full of pride.
The Origin of Sin
As Christians we know that sin originated with the angelic beings in heaven, with Lucifer leading a failed coup. Why this happened, we do not know. Thus, man’s current fallen condition was never God’s intention, something biblical life coaches must keep in mind. Man’s sinful nature cannot be rehabilitated (the world’s viewpoint); it must be crucified. Gal. 2:20.
As Christian life coaches, we must recognize the affects and consequences of sin in a coachee’s life. However, we must also lead the person to the hope that Christ offers to atone for and redeem him/her from their sin, and the freedom he provides from guilt, along with the opportunity to start life afresh.