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Printable handouts for counselors

(Approximately) 100 “Go to” Texts for Biblical Counseling

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100 foundational texts that speak to a wide-range of common counseling scenarios. These texts are organized by topic and can be quickly referenced by a counselor.

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General principles

  1. The Bible is infallible and sufficient for counseling. 2 Tim 3:16-17
  2. Apply the gospel specifically to every problem. Phil 4:12
  3. You and your counselee are totally dependent upon God for success. John 15:5

 Addressing various counseling problems

Conflict resolution

  1. Pursue peace. Matt 5:9
  2. Listen carefully and listen to both sides. Prov 18:13,17
  3. First address your own sin. Matt 7:3-5
  4. Confront your erring brother in love. Gal 6:1-2
  5. Be prepared to follow the steps of church discipline. Matt 18:15-20
  6. Christians should not sue other Christians in secular courts. 1 Cor 6:1f
  7. Even if you do all you can to seek resolution, you may not succeed. Rom 12:18

 Anger

  1. Anger is murder. Matt 5:21-22
  2. The cause of conflict is sinful desire. Jas 4:1-6
  3. An angry person is dangerous. Prov 25:28

Revenge

  1. Don’t take your own revenge. Trust God to do what is right. Rom 12:19-21
  2. Show love to your enemy. Matt 5:43-48

Helping people who have been hurt by others (abused)

  1. Bitterness is destructive. Heb 12:15
  2. Joseph trusted God and thereby forgave his abusers. Gen 50:19-20

Communication

  1. The tongue is a fire. Jas 3:6f
  2. Use your words to build up, not tear down. Don’t always say whatever is on your mind. Eph 4:29
  3. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Jas 1:19-20
  4. Focus on understanding the other person rather than upon being understood. Phil 2:3-4
  5. A gentle answer turns away wrath. Prov 15:1

Resisting temptation

  1. God’s promise: you won’t be tempted beyond what you are able. 1 Cor 10:13
  2. Joseph’s example. Gen 39:7-10

Lust

  1. Lust in the heart is adultery. Matt 5:27-30
  2. Flee lust. 2 Tim 2:22
  3. You are responsible for what you think about. Phil 4:8-9 (also applies to fear, worry, depression, etc.)

Fear

  1. The fear of man brings a snare. Prov 29:25
  2. Trusting in people is idolatry and will ruin you. Jer 17:5-8

Worry

  1. Trust God to meet your needs. Matt 6:25-34
  2. Pray with thanksgiving. Phil 4:6-7

Depression

  1. Are you depressed because of your sin? Ps 32
  2. The key to overcoming depression is not a change in your circumstances, but an increase in your faith. Phil 4:11-13

Addictions

  1. Addiction is seeking from some idol what God alone gives. Isa 55:1-2
  2. The root problem is that some love pleasure more than they love God. 2 Tim 3:4
  3. Substance abuse is sinful and destructive. Prov 23:29-35
  4. “Co-dependents” make the addict their idol. Jer 17:5-8

Facing trials and calamity

  1. God sovereignly works all things together for good. Rom 8:28
  2. God uses trials in your sanctification. Jas 1:2f
  3. Nothing can separate you from God’s love in Christ. Rom 8:31-39

Seeking forgiveness

  1. From God. 1 John 1:8-10
  2. From those you have wronged. Matt 5:23-24

Granting forgiveness

  1. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Eph 4:32
  2. The story of the unmerciful servant. Matt 18:21-35

Repentance

  1. How can you tell if repentance is genuine? 2 Cor 7:9-11
  2. An example of true repentance. Ps 51

Presenting the gospel

  1. We are saved not by keeping the law, but by Christ’s atoning death. Rom 3:20-26
  2. Confess your sins. 1 John 1:8-2:2
  3. The substitution of the Lamb of God for sinners. Isa 53:4-6
  4. The thief on the cross as an example of salvation by grace. Luke 23:39-43
  5. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Eph 2:8-9

Assurance of salvation

  1. If you truly believe in the Lord Jesus, you have been born of God. 1 John 5:1
  2. If you are one of Christ’s sheep, He keeps you safe. John 10:28-29
  3. If you have no regard for God’s commandments you are still lost. 1 John 2:3-4
  4. If you have no love for the brethren, you have not been born of God. 1 John 4:8-9

Sanctification

  1. The converted sinner is no longer to be labeled by his old deeds. 1 Cor 6:9-11
  2. Consider your old nature dead and your new nature alive in Christ. Rom 6:11
  3. The believer is a new person with a new nature. 2 Cor 5:17
  4. God will work to sanctify you. Phil 1:6
  5. You are responsible to put forth effort in your sanctification. Phil 2:12-13
  6. Learn and apply the put off and put on dynamic. Eph 4:22-24
  7. Christ saved us that we might do good works. Titus 2:14

Church involvement

  1. Regular attendance is mandatory. Heb 10:25
  2. God wants you to commit (join), making yourself accountable to particular church leaders. Heb 13:17
  3. Each of us is to serve. 1 Pet 4:10-11
  4. Each of us is to give as God has prospered us. 1 Cor 16:2

Work and employment

  1. God’s design is that you work six days a week. Exod 20:9
  2. Don’t be a sluggard. Prov 6:6-11
  3. If someone refuses to work, he should not eat. 2 Thess 3:10
  4. Serve God through your vocation. Eph 6:5-9

Finances

  1. Planning (budgeting) is wise. Prov 21:5
  2. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty over your finances. Jas 4:13-17
  3. God gives you the ability to earn. Deut 8:18
  4. Avoid debt. Prov 22:7
  5. Don’t make an idol of money, but store up treasure in heaven. Matt 6:19-21
  6. The love of money leads to every other evil behavior. 1 Tim 6:10
  7. Be generous with those in need. 1 Tim 6:17-19
  8. Giving to the Lord’s work should be the first item in your budget. Prov 3:9
  9. Pay your taxes. Matt 22:17-21

Decision Making/Knowing God’s will

  1. Wholeheartedly seek wisdom from God. Jas 1:5 (also see Prov 1-9).
  2. Search for God’s moral will in the Bible. 2 Tim 3:16-17
  3. Seek godly counsel. Prov 15:22
  4. You can’t know God’s secret will. Deut 29:29
  5. Submit your plans to God’s sovereign will. Prov 16:9
  6. Trust God, that His way is best. Prov 3:5-6

Integrity

  1. Simply tell the truth. Matt 5:37
  2. Lying destroys relationships. Eph 4:25

Family issues

Marriage is divinely instituted

  1. God’s design for marriage. Gen 2:18-23
  2. God’s directive for marriage. Gen 2:24

The role of the husband

  1. Eph 5:25-30
  2. 1 Pet 3:7
  3. John 13:1f

The role of the wife

  1. Eph 5:22-24
  2. Dealing with an unsaved husband. 1 Pet 3:1-6 (see context 2:21-25)

Sex

  1. All sex outside of marriage is wrong. Heb 13:4 (also see Gen. 2:24)
  2. God wants us to be fruitful (have kids). Gen 1:28
  3. Your sexuality belongs to your spouse. Don’t deprive him/her. 1 Cor 7:3-5
  4. God wants married people to enjoy sex. Prov 5:18-19 (also Song of Solomon)

Child training

  1. The duties of children. Eph 6:1-3
  2. The duties of parents. Eph 6:4
  3. The necessity of discipline. Prov 19:18

Divorce

  1. God hates divorce. Mal 2:16
  2. What God has joined, let no man separate. Matt 19:5-6
  3. Adultery is a ground for divorce (the other person broke the covenant). Matt 19:9
  4. Abandonment by an unbeliever is a ground for divorce. 1 Cor 7:15
  5. Don’t leave your unbelieving spouse or drive him/her away.  1 Cor 7:12

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