Does biblical counseling ever fail?
Then someone may ask does biblical counseling ever fail? Well, it depends on what you mean by failing. We have people come whose lives are rapidly transformed by the grace of God and the glory of God. We have some people who change very slowly. We have some people who come once, and they realize what we’re talking about and they leave. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the counselor failed. The rich, young ruler came to Jesus, and Jesus gave him counsel ‘sell all you have and follow me’ and the rich young ruler did not receive that counsel. He went away sad. God counseled Cain when he was upset about his offering not being accepted, warned him about his anger, but Cain went ahead and rejected God’s counsel to humble himself and he killed his brother out of jealousy. So our job is to be faithful, not necessarily successful in every case. And as you counsel and you work with people, you’re going to see different results over time. Sometimes it might be discouraging because you’re dealing with three people at once who just aren’t doing very well.
And you keep persisting, hoping for God the spirit to break through. Sometimes you see tremendous things happening. But our job is not to change hearts; that’s God’s job. Our job is to faithfully present the word and trust him to bring about the transformation.
How can you be prepared to counsel other?
And then well, how can I be better prepared to counsel others. Paul writes to Timothy in first 1 Timothy 4, verse 16, he says, “Pay close attention to yourself and your teaching. Persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and those who hear you.” He says first watch over yourself as I hope you continue in this course. You’re going to be confronting yourself where you need to grow, where you need to go in your understanding of the gospel, the practice of gospel implications, showing grace, dealing with the issues you’re dealing with, counsel yourself. Pray that God will work in your life. Grow spiritually. Work on your issues of being biblically qualified to help others and then learn, persist, I would encourage you to take this for credit. Go through the process of certification and caring for people through IBCD, caring discipleship, even to go on to NANC. Just like in college, you take a course and audit it, you kind of sit and listen. It helps you a little, but if you do the work, you’ll learn more. And then hone your gifts as you work with people, and then just seek to use the scriptures root it in the gospel in every conversation you have. So, in conclusion what is biblical counseling? Biblical counseling says that God has given us in his word what we need to help people with their spiritual, with their soul problems. We don’t need psychology to inform us how to help people. Psychology has errors, which are contrary to the Bible, at least in its secular expression. What we want to do is to know the Bible, to become experts in scripture as we learn to apply to ourselves and others. And as we continue in the following sessions we’re going to give some more background into how God works in changing people and the theology that is the undergirding of our counseling, a methodology of counseling, and then how we apply the Bible to particular problems. And I pray that God would use this through your attentiveness and his spirit to grow in these things.