Vertical Menu Allowance
 

Biblically-based Counselling


Biblically-based Counselling is professional counselling in which the counsellor comes alongside distressed people within their community context to offer Scriptural wisdom with the goal of assisting their restoration to responsible living in fellowship with God and His people.

Biblically-based counselling is professional counselling that comes alongside distressed people within their community context to offer Scriptural wisdom with the goal of assisting their restoration to responsible living in fellowship with God and His people.

Biblically-Based Counselling is professional. By professional we mean informed counselling that takes into account a wide variety of disciplines and persons that may have to be consulted in order to understand and help someone in distress.1 As Christians we understand that unbelievers have been given gifts to discover patterns of behaviour and identify interventions which may benefit the Christian counsellor when evaluated and used through the lens of Scripture. Exploring the broader field of a person's hurt is an indispensable part of responsible Christian counselling, especially when the wounds are very deep.

The Biblically-based counsellor comes alongside distressed people. The Christian counsellor is careful to offer help that is built upon a holistic understanding of the problem. In order to do so he or she seeks to develop a relationship of empathy by actively listening to the persons involved.2

Biblically-based counselling comes alongside distressed people. This is a broad category of people that includes individuals, couples, families, and other groups. Distress has many factors, such as living in a broken world, sinful human nature, the
sins of others, and the influence of the devil. It is often related to issues of injustice and the abuse of power, and may need to be remedied through special advocacy. By the word distressed we mean that the problem is special in nature, requiring the wisdom of someone in the Body of Christ specially gifted and trained for this work.

Biblically-based counselling deals with distressed people within their community context. Taking into account the social context in which the client lives, the counsellor
develops a relationship with family members and members of the church community, especially leaders of the church. He consults them concerning root problems, enlists their support in the healing process, and offers resources to families and churches that will help them become a counselling community.3

Biblically-based counselling seeks to offer Scriptural wisdom. God's word has wisdom for every situation: helping a person endure hardship in faith (what Job needed), reviving the hope of the discouraged (what exiled Israel needed)4, admonishing a sinner (what the Pharisees and the adulteress needed)5, pointing a sinner to the necessity and assurance of receiving the grace of the Lord to be restored (what Peter needed)6, encouraging someone to move beyond past failures (what Joseph???s brothers needed)7, and supporting someone who has been sinned against (what Onesimus needed)8. Recognizing that different problems require different approaches, the counsellor applies Scriptural wisdom to offer creative solutions over a period of time. The Bible tells us that it is useful in a variety of ways: for instructing, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Under the indispensable blessing of the Lord, it makes a person complete and equips him for good work.9

Biblically-based counselling is offered to distressed people with the goal of assisting their restoration. The professional counsellor is just one part of a network of people working to repair broken lives and relationships. In order to offer lasting help to a client, the counsellor needs the support of a series of other relationships that may or may not already exist in the person's life. Above all, the Christian counsellor places all hope for healing in Jesus Christ who died to redeem His people from the sin's curse and rose again to give them a new life. With God's grace and the Holy Spirit who alone effects change and healing, the counsellor can be an instrument of restoration in the hands of Christ.10

Biblically-based counselling has the goal of assisting their restoration to responsible living in fellowship with God and His people. Responsible living is life that is conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in true love for God and our neighbor.11 Even when complete healing is not granted by the Lord in this life, the counsellor endeavors to help people live with their hardships in a responsible, God-glorifying way so that they can enjoy life and contribute to the lives of others to the fullest extent possible within the limitations God has placed on them. The counsellor's goal always extends beyond the personal and individual level to the two most vital relationships that God has created. Christians are made by God and redeemed in Christ to live in joyful fellowship
with God and with each other. Thus, the glory of God and the edification of the Body of Christ are the ultimate goal of the biblically-based counsellor.

Endnotes

1. This would include persons who occupy the various disciplines of psychology, sociology, biology, medicine, jurisprudence; as well as those who are in positions of civil authority.

2. Scripture says, "He who answers before listening ??? that is his folly and his shame" (Proverbs 18:13), and "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out" (Proverbs 20:5).

3. Paul wrote to the church at Rome, "Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another" (Romans 15:14).

4. See Isaiah 40:12-31. Verse 29 says, "[The LORD] gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength."

5. See John 8:2-12.

6. See Luke 22:61-62 and John 21:15-19.

7. See Genesis 50:15-21 where the brothers of Joseph feared the consequences of their past sins. Joseph assured them with the knowledge that even the sins and failures of God's people are in His fatherly hand and for the good of His people.

8. See the book of Philemon.

9. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

10. The Bible speaks of this Christ-centered, trinitarian help in Ephesians 3:14-17(a): "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."

11. See, for example, Colossians 3:8-10: "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie
to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the knowledge of Him who created him, where there in neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

 
Audio Resource