As I try to keep up with my bible course in counseling, I will attempt to share some of the points that I heard when I listened to a portion of the lesson tonight, which take a turn into my own concepts of who God is in the counseling relationship. I share here some of the thoughts I have, because I’ve had the chance to become educated in secular psychology, and formerly worked as a therapist.
Helping people with their problems is hard when you don’t have the Lord Jesus Christ to tell you how to counsel and guide people, and how to solve problems that come right out of the bible.
In counseling using the bible as the main text, we don’t refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in an attempt to diagnose people’s mental health according to man’s categorizing symptoms, as this often changes over time and is not found in the bible. In fact, about the basic thing that Jesus finds wrong with people who suffer is their lack of belief in his being the Son of God, but that they have no belief in God, the Trinity, at all. It’s some made-up idea about what God is; such as a man who calls himself “a god”, or some vision they’ve had that tells them they have visited with God or something else, but it is not of the bible.
God’s Spirit can move in the counselor and the counselee but is not present to be called upon when the people in a counseling relationship are not believers. Even though God can do what he wants among people, counseling requires belief in the bible in order that the participant’s in a counseling situation are able to abide by God’s Word.
Instead of “tinkering” with people in the attempt to find the best counseling modality as treatment that is based upon man’s creations of taking skills of one person and imposing them on another, or being there to listen and care; which, however well-meaning, cannot get to the crux of the problem to cure, unless the people involved in a counseling relationship are believer’s in Christ Jesus.
True believers understand that they, too, are sinners, and that sin caused the fall of mankind’s nature. There’s no way around it. As sinners we rely on Christ who gave us life, because without his death on the cross and being risen again, we have no promise of hope and of healing, that full healing may not come until after we are given glorified bodies, as Justin Peters has said. We do, however, live for eternity as long as we are with Christ — the other alternative is to live forever across a great divide without Jesus Christ, in eternal punishment that one can never escape from. You either live for Christ, through Christ, or you live for eternal damnation.
Jesus became one of us, he became flesh and became involved with us. He wept over people’s unbelief; Paul also wept over the unbelieving spiritual condition of people. Discipleship is the shepherding of people and deeply caring about their souls, that they find Christ who can help them in their troubles.
As counselors we must assume the best until proven otherwise, and we must be honest with counselees that we are sinners just as they are. True Christians in the role of counselors will provide pastoral counseling and bring from the Word of God whatever is appropriate. It is not built around man’s creating categories, symptoms or medications to be prescribed that may not help man in the long run and over the long haul.
People’s lives are short and we don’t have time to not know or understand that God came to earth in a man’s body and helped people understand who God was. He taught with sincere gentleness and humbleness of mind and heart, and waited for man to learn from him. He was a kind shepard keeping his flock on course; away from harm, shepherding them from spending eternity apart from Him.