As a Christian Life Coach, your clients may ask, “Can you help me understand God and life coaching a little more? While the International Coach Federation does not promote any particular faith, in Christian life coaching, you are free to help clients go deeper in God. Here are some ways you can help your clients—and yourself—develop their relationship with God.
Our first and most lasting images and our understanding of God come from our childhood, specifically home and church. We all have flawed images of God, because our finite minds cannot comprehend an infinite God. However, our worldview is critically important to our relationship with him and our growth as Christians.
Why did God create mankind? See John 17:3. What should be the aim of our lives as Christians? See John 17:3; John 4:24
God is always known by his attributes. An attribute is a character trait or a characterization that is consistent with what you know about someone. It is something that is ascribed to another person. I.E. My spouse is loyal and faithful. My pastor is a man of wisdom. God’s attributes are who he has revealed himself to be in Scripture. Unlike people, whose character and traits can change, God is unchangeable (Heb.13:8): he is already perfect, and sin does not affect him. For example, 1 John 4:8, 16 states that God is love—this is his character. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is like, and therefore tells us what God is like—his attributes. The trouble comes when we as believers and counselors in particular, do not balance God’s attributes. We state that God is love, but we rarely refer to God as a God of war, or one who gets angry.
As a spiritual life coach, you must meditate on the attributes of God so that you have a solid foundation of your relationship with your heavenly Father.
God’s ten most common attributes are his: eternity, immutability, omnipresence, knowledge, wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, dominion, and patience.
Some of God’s moral attributes are his: love, faithfulness, holiness, grace, mercy, and justice. Which one can you most relate to? This tells something about your worldview and your counseling slant. These are moral attributes because they deal with God’s treatment, actions, and attitudes towards us—and the way we should treat each other as well.
God is relational; he created Adam for relationship, then created Eve to have relationship with Adam. Psychologist John Townsend states that we will never be at peace unless we are bonded to loving relationships, first and foremost to God. As connectedness is our most basic need, isolation is our most injurious state. Satan tries to isolate us from God-approved relationships, first and foremost from God himself. That is why the original sin was the pride of self-sufficiency (see Gen. 3:1-7). If we are isolated, we cannot bond to loving relationships, and we will bond to something/someone that is not so loving, i.e. the relationship will be something that will hurt us emotionally, physically, and ultimately spiritually. This is the root of the addictive process. It’s also the root of Satan’s strategy to sabotage our maturity process.
People who see God as vindictive, irrational, absent, abusive, or one who heaps on guilt have a wrong conception of God. If your client sees God in these ways, help him/her explore where their concept comes from.
In biblical life coaching, you can:
Help others come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to help them find forgiveness and relief from the crippling effects of sin and guilt.
Help others gain a right understanding God (his moral and common attributes).
Help others become like him in character, attitudes, and actions.
Help others answer the question, “How can I be rightly related to God and the world he created?” See Mark 12:28-31
On a personal level, your goal is to deepen your own walk with God, and bring him praise in all of your spiritual life coaching. As you develop your spiritual gifts (see 1 Cor. 12:1-11) through use of the same, you become more and more dependent on God, resulting in greater praise to his name.
When following biblical coaching principles, realize that:
The client’s circumstances are not the cause of his/her problems; rather they are tests and trials that reveal the condition of the client’s belief system (“heart” in the Bible) and can be used define and refine his/her obedience to God. It is only through an accurate biblical understanding of who and what God is, and how the client sees his/her relationship to God that the true nature of the problem(s) and appropriate solutions can be known.
Biblical change first takes place in the client’s mind (See Romans 12:1-2). As a Christian life coach, you can help your client align his/her thinking with the truth as found in the Word of God. When the counselee has a correct and balanced relationship with God, genuine heart change—a change in his/her belief system—not merely changing his/her circumstances or behavior can occur.
Christ and Life Coaching
Christians understand that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. However, there are clients who have a psychological complex called The Messiah Complex. These are people who care too much, and want to “rescue” others, no matter how dire their circumstances. These people try to deliver others from their problems, pain, dysfunctions, addictions, etc. They may also have a “martyr mentality.” They are willing to sacrifice their time, effort, resources, etc., for the benefit of others, but at their own destruction. Remember, rescuers want to see others set free, but they are also meeting an inner need within themselves—they “need to be needed.” They can be people pleasers to the extreme. If you have a tendency to rescue others, remember what happened to Jesus—he was crucified.
As a Christian Life Coach, God does not call you or your client to be anyone’s messiah. We are called to be Christ-like; to represent Jesus Christ to the client.
When we step in and try to take someone else’s pain, heartache, trial, etc., away from them, we may be hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in their life, and hindering their path to healing. One of the tasks of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life is to conform all of us into the image and likeness of Christ. He will use whatever circumstances the counselee is in to bring this about.
Ephesians 4:12-14 “To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
As a spiritual ICF certified life coach, you can help your client gain a better understanding of their Savior, Jesus Christ. Here is an overview of our Messiah.
Who is Jesus Christ?
Exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3); If we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father (John 14:9).
Incarnation—in-flesh-ment: Jesus became God-in-the-flesh without giving up his divinity. (Talk about umbilical cord and the blood flow)
2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus the Great High Priest
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Jesus is our Substitution
Hebrews 12: 2, 3 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” We are the joy that was set before Jesus!
Jesus is our Intercessor
Hebrews 7 24-26 “Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”
The Mind of Christ
We all have “defining moments” in our lives. How do you know when your client is facing one of these? You can ask, “Will the decision the counselee has to make have life-changing effects? Is he/she wavering between two decisions (Note: the mind is always trying to choose what it feels is best and trying to find the path of least resistance, even when facing the choice between two things that are good)? If so, chances are the counselee is in a defining moment and needs the mind of Christ (see 1 Cor. 2:14-16). Some of these moments are positive and some negative. But positives can be viewed in a negative light and negatives in a positive light. For example, a couple may have a beautiful baby girl, but the husband might have wanted a boy. An individual may have lost his job, but it might be an opportunity to start a new career or go back to school.
As a Christian life coach, your task is to help your client gain the mind of Christ and see their life and circumstances through the eyes of Jesus. Romans 8:28 states that “all things work together for good [the Greek definition for “good” is harmony] for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” You can help your client accept their circumstances, and see what God wants to accomplish in his/her life. This doesn’t happen overnight; biblical coaching means the Christian life coach must have compassion as the client comes to grips with their circumstances and gently help him/her determine biblical and healthy decisions.
How do we gain the mind of Christ? We study the word (John 1:1, 14). How do we know what Jesus was like? We study his life and lifestyle. How do we know how Jesus saw life? We study the beatitudes and his references to the “kingdom of God.”
The most basic job of a Christian life coach is to point the client to Jesus Christ. For salvation if he/she is not saved (Romans 10: 8-10); and for faith to direct his/her life: Proverbs 3: 5-6 states, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. God and life coaching includes an inherent responsibility to help clients find the inner peace and personal relationship that Jesus offers. It is no less ethical to tell someone about Jesus than it is to tell them about the benefits of medication, or other established life coaching methods. The difference is Jesus can offer permanent change; the others are only temporary fixes.
Sometimes, a counselee’s “defining moment” may come because of your biblical coaching and/or while sitting with you. He/she is faced with a decision to make. Is this person the right one for me to marry? Should I start a business? Why do I want this promotion at work? A Christian life coach should never make these decisions for their clients. Jesus doesn’t; he offers direction and guidance, but leaves the ultimate choice up to the individual. A spiritual life coach will help each client find the mind of Christ for his/her particular decision and help them find guidance in following the leading of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26; 16:7).