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The counselor and pastor would do well to consider Ezekiel 33:30-33:

30 “As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.33 When this comes-and come it will!-then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

In verse 33, The Lord explains why the people can hear and even show some approval for the Word of God, and yet they will not receive it in a heart transforming way: “for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.” They demonstrate a universal covetousness: either seeking people (lust) or stuff (gain).

The NIV 84 translates it “With their mouths they express devotion, but their heart are greedy for unjust gain.” If one takes it this way, then the covetousness in view is money, not money and sex. In either understanding, it is covetousness which excludes the words of God.

The Lord himself explains the same trouble in the parable of the sower:

18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

Mark 4:18-19. They hear, there is some apparent growth, but soon it dies: the weeds have grown up about it and have choked the shoot.

What can a counselor, a teacher, a preacher do in such a situation? We are not the Holy Spirit — we cannot regenerate a heart; we cannot make the seed grow. We cannot force the heart of others to reject the deceitfulness of false desire.

But we can warn the people. We can tell them to beware “the deceitfulness of riches.” We can warn of the vanity of the creature (Ecclesiastes 1:2). We can tell them that these temptations will show beauty, but must “not desire her beauty in your heart” (Prov. 6:25). We must warn them that transgression will seek to speak “deep in [your] heart” (Psalm 36:7); yet, they must not listen.

We can seek a congregational culture in which we all confess our sins one-to-another (James 5:16). We can explain that all of us are in danger as long as we are in gunshot of temptation, and thus we must not neglect to gather together and stir up one another to love and good works, encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), always keeping a careful eye upon the fickleness of our heart and another on the beauty of Christ:

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 3:12-15.