Counseling is the act of instructing and guiding someone through the problems, pains, and sins in their life. While many consider counseling to be necessarily done by “professional” counselors, God has told us that believers are capable of counseling one another (Rom. 15:14).
Furthermore, counseling is a form of teaching and shepherding, both of which are the primary responsibilities of pastors (Heb. 13:17). For those issues that require special care and formal counseling, the counselors in the local church should fully meet the qualifications of elders or deacons found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
The primary tool of pastors to teach and shepherd is the expository sermon, though pastors should not neglect the individual counseling of those under their care. The primary staff with which the pastor guides the sheep is the weekly homily, the preaching of God’s word.
God’s word, through the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit, is the only infallibly effective source of change in the life of the Christian (Heb. 4:12). For this reason, all counseling should be done according to the instruction of God’s word.
Counseling from the word of God is effective for those who have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and who submit to God’s word – namely, Christians. For this reason, counselees in the local church should be restricted primarily to followers of Jesus Christ.
God’s word is not only the instruction for all counseling, it is also sufficient for all counseling. We know that “all Scripture is inspired by God… and able to make the man of God complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Through common grace, non-Christian psychologists have made true observations about the nature of humanity, but they rarely interpret those observations biblically. Even more, they rarely come to good interventions from their interpretations. Even if by common grace they come to good interpretations, we know that the observations, interpretations, and interventions of non-Chrisitan psychologists are at best unnecessary.
God’s word is enough to counsel God’s people to deal with the issues of life. It is enough to equip God’s people for good works.
The ultimate goal of all counseling is that we would help one another to know and follow Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is from him that we get our life and breath (Acts 17:15).
“Christ is the wisdom of God because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:24-25).
While the world relies on their own wisdom and follows their fleeting passions, Christians know that God knows what is best for us far better than we could ever know ourselves. Counseling necessitates that we have faith in the sovereignty, goodness, and wisdom of God.
I’m currently pursuing a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Biblical Counseling at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. My desire is to be able to help connect people with the eternal truth of Jesus Christ.