The Bible and Effective Counseling

Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I make a counseling encounter with an individual pleasant?”

My answer is, “I have no idea.”

I believe that you make a great mistake by aspiring to make a counseling interview pleasant. Instead you should want to make it to the point; you should want to get to the bottom of the problem. This is a great big world with many needs, and we can’t be going around and around and around the same question over and over and over again.

It is my firm conviction that if you will sincerely put your faith in the word of God and honestly seek to listen to the individual who is talking to you, with the backdrop of your knowledge of the scripture behind you, you can move pretty fast in helping people.

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

To be effective in counseling, master the Word, not just in your head, but in your heart. The psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee,” and in verse 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” Having the Word of God firmly rooted in your heart and mind, you will be prepared to listen to a person’s story, and then help them to discern their thoughts and intents using the Word to mirror what they’re saying to you.

You need to have enough of the scripture in your head so that as you listen to each individual’s story, you are able to start sorting out what they are telling you, applying your knowledge of the scriptures to each situation. Not according to your knowledge of what a certain psychologist has said, or what a well-known sociologist has said, or what a distinguished anthropologist has said, but what the Word says. It is important to remember that if you’re going be an effective counselor using the Bible, it’s not enough to simply own a Bible or even be somewhat familiar with it. You must use it, and know enough of it that you can immediately apply it.

According to 2 Timothy 3:16, “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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

This Bible is profitable to use for doctrine, for teaching people that there are certain truths to believe in and live life by. The Word of God is profitable for reproof. As a Bible counselor, you need to help people find out what God’s Word has to say about where they made a wrong turn. The Bible is profitable for correction. Use it to give the people you counsel a plan for change in their lives. It is also profitable for instruction in righteousness. There is a right way to live!

Using the Bible, help people to diagnose their sin. You have the unique privilege of pointing them Jesus! He can forgive them and help them to live a life of victory.

Take a step . . .

Begin today to memorize God’s Word. Choose one passage from the Old Testament and one passage from the New Testament to commit to memory this week. Continue to add to your collection of memorized verses over time.

This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message, The Use of the Bible in Counseling.

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