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Biblical Counseling is not new to the church. The name may have undergone changes over the years, but the idea of counseling has not. Since Biblical times, believers have been “counseling” one another. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 15:14 (ESV)…
Romans 15:14 – 14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
This passage makes it clear that we all should be counseling one-another. This is not a job left for the professional but something the church should be doing as a whole. The reality is we all counsel. Whether it is a parent talking to their child about what to do after graduation, or one friend comforting another over the loss of a loved one. These are all issues in which we “give advice” or counsel one-another. The question is, are we counseling biblically? A lot of times well-meaning believers get caught up with the philosophy of the world and give advice that is not in line with scripture. We have heard before “God helps those who help themselves” or “you must forgive AND forget”. How many times have we been told “things will blow over if you just hang in there” or to “just tough it out”?
Let’s answer the question what is Biblical counseling?
Biblical Counseling is one person providing help to another person, to meet the challenges of life in a way that will please and honor the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:31), which will bring them the greatest joy and contentment (John 15:11). This is accomplished through the understanding that the Bible provides thorough guidance and instruction for faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3).
To further define the answer, we can say it is Discipleship. Yes, biblical counseling is nothing more than discipling one-another through the challenges of life. Scripture is full of commands and principles for us to invest in and equip others for the daily trials of life. We need to look no further than the great commission in Matthew 28. We all know what verse 19 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Sometimes I think we forget about verse 20 which tells us “TEACHING them to OBSERVE all that I have commanded you” (emphasis mine). This part of the great commission includes counseling. Part of making disciples is helping others walk through their trials, TEACHING them how to respond to their struggles by OBSERVING what God’s word says.
The Apostle Paul was very clear about his call for counseling. Remembering Romans 15:14, Paul tells us we all should be counseling. Here are a few other passages to consider:
Galatians 6:1–2 (NASB) – 1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Colossians 1:28 (NASB) – 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB) – 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
There may be some of you reading this thinking to yourself “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know what I would say”. Remember this; God’s word is sufficient! When we proclaim the word of God the Holy Spirit works in the heart of a person to bring about change. We cannot produce change in those we counsel or disciple. We do this because we love one-another, and God receives ALL the Glory.
So, what can you do? If you would like to become better equipped to counsel/disciple others, let me know, I would be happy to hear from you.