Do people periodically ask you for advice?
Do you sometimes lack confidence that your counsel is the best that it could be?
How can you be better prepared when God guides you to give help and hope to someone in need? Never go against the Word of God, even if it means going against the grain of public acceptance. Regardless of what “the world” says is right, you will never go wrong when you stay true to God’s Word. The Book of Psalms begins with these two verses.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)
Biblical counseling means you rely on truths from the Word of God as you seek to give wise counsel. Hebrews 4:12 says . . . “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Isaiah 9:6 is one of the most well known Messianic Scriptures, describing the Lord as the “Wonderful Counselor.”
Biblical Counseling is not giving your own personal advice. You may have an idea and be readily available to share what someone needs to do to “fix” their problems, but biblical counseling is not giving easy one-size-fits-all answers to difficult problems. Nor is Biblical Counseling the same assecular counseling; Pop psychology and secular humanism have gained broad acceptance, even within the church. Being the best person, spouse or Christian is be a worthy goal and, likewise, church fellowship and support are important, but your model for change is not to merely be a better version of yourself but to be more and more like Christ. This total transformation is God’s will for you and can only be accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit through the strength of Christ.
John the Baptist, the greatest man born of woman outside of Christ Himself, had a much different desire than the world of his time. His heartfelt prayer was, “I must decrease. He must increase” (John 3:30).
Christ-centered counseling is giving advice, encouragement, and hope to others based on biblical truth, while relying on Christ to provide the power for change. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)”
For your counseling to have maximum effectiveness, you must live in total dependence on Christ, seeking His will. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Biblical counselors must also always be mindful to “sharpen the ax,” to hone their counseling skills by praying, spending time in God’s Word, and gleaning insight from biblical scholars and ministry professionals in the counseling field.
Abraham Lincoln aptly portrays the wisdom of pausing . . . for potentially greater effectiveness: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
“For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
2 Corinthians 1:5
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”
“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
“First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
1 Kings 22:5