Part-time student, part-time counsellor

It’s Friday night, 2:29am to be exact. You’re returning from a night out you perhaps reluctantly went on with your housemate, with sore, slightly blistered feet and sticky shoes from the beer-stained dancefloor. It’s as if you can feel your bed beckoning you home, and as you put your key in the door counting down the minutes until you can get under your covers, your slightly drunk housemate decides this would be a good time to express her fear of rejection, her worry for the future and questions the point of life. You have successfully got both of you home safely, and your mind is focused on the bed you know is just metres away. But you know Jesus. You know that all of her questions would be answered if she just got to know Him and that you as a friend and a follower, you have an opportunity to lead your friend into freedom.

What do you do?

Perhaps you’ve been there. Perhaps you’re the friend that people always confide in. Perhaps you feel like a part-time student, a part-time counsellor when you’re just trying to navigate student life yourself.

Can I reassure you?

You are not alone.

In the Bible, there are lots of examples of Jesus being a listening ear, an answer to prayer or simply a shoulder to cry on. I would have loved to be at that table in Mark 2, where Jesus has dinner with sinners. His priority was not Himself, but the company and conversation of those joining Him at the dinner table. I am assuming He wasn’t focused on His tiredness after a long evening or His desire for comfort. Instead, it was understood that if He was to reach the lost, He must first have contact with them. He postured Himself by sitting at that table, ready to be a friend and teacher.

This theme runs throughout the Bible and comes to a climax when Jesus adopts a new posture, one that would change the world as we know it - the posture of the cross.

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

To carry our sin so we didn’t have to.

When we are told to ‘carry each other’s burdens’ (Galatians 6:2), the Gospel message is not undermined, but reinforced. Why? Because understanding Jesus’ motive of love for us, it is a natural response that we too posture ourselves to carry one another, not because we have to, but because we can.

We can choose the DMCs over the comfort of our own bed, or make space the following day to talk after they’ve recovered. We can prioritise conversation to ensure they know they’re listened to. We can learn more about our Mission Style to how we can best introduce them to Jesus.

When we sit with the tearful, the drunk, the depressed, the rejected and the stressed, we get to reflect Jesus’ character to them. We get to be His grace and love embodied to the ones closest to us. An easy job? No. A Kingdom one? Absolutely.

It’s 2:29am. You’re tired, they’re drunk, emotional and searching. What do you do?

Viki Taylor

Student Mission Developer

Viki is a part of the student mission team and is based in Sheffield. Her favourite things are huskies, the ocean and buying too many notebooks.

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